• abated means to my guess is that it originated from that...
  • I've always wondered this too! Everytime I hear it, I think of someone with fishy smelling breath.
  • It's not "baited breath," for heaven's sake. It's "bated breath." That's short for "abated," i.e., held back - people holding their breath.
  • bated is short for "abated", hence stopped breath. So I am waiting without breathing.
  • it originated from shakespeares "the merchant of venice".....mark twain used it...i think its in "the devil came down to austin" was quoted on "sex and the city" while it is spelled 'bated' it is more often mispelled "baited" which means eventually our own mispelling of it will probably change the spelling :) and yes, it means that you are anticipating something or 'holding your breathe' until you get what your waiting for.
  • A shortened form of abated (Middle English), meaning 'reduced, lessened'. The idea behind the phrase with bated breath is that the anxiety or excitement you experience while waiting for something to happen is so great that you almost stop breathing. (Internet)
  • 10-4-2017 The word is bated and it means reduced. In wood shop you have a rebate plane, often spelled rabbet, which reduces the thickness of wood. In computer marketing you might be offered a rebate to reduce the price. When a flood or fire or other event is reduced it is aid to be abated. Bated breath means reduced breathing.
  • Meaning is simple 'suspence', origin probably as far back as Adam and Eve when she took the first bite of the forbidden fruit!

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