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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
bleat
verb
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Mr. Lorrimer's voice, frail and querulous, was bleating at the other end.
▪ The fog-horn, its sound now muffled by the houses, continued to bleat at regular intervals.
▪ They skipped about my feet, a flock of lambs bleating around a daft young heifer.
▪ When federalists bleat on about how interdependent the world is, one wonders what world they live in.
▪ While he watched it half an hour passed; beggars had gathered and were bleating around his knees.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Bleat

Bleat \Bleat\, n. A plaintive cry of, or like that of, a sheep.

The bleat of fleecy sheep.
--Chapman's Homer.

Bleat

Bleat \Bleat\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Bleated; p. pr. & vb. n. Bleating.] [OE. bleten, AS. bl?tan; akin to D. blaten, bleeten, OHG. bl[=a]zan, pl[=a]zan; prob. of imitative origin.] To make the noise of, or one like that of, a sheep; to cry like a sheep or calf.

Then suddenly was heard along the main, To low the ox, to bleat the woolly train.
--Pope

The ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baas, will never answer a calf when he bleats.
--Shak.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
bleat

Old English blætan, from West Germanic *bhle- (source also of Dutch blaten "to bleat"), of imitative origin (compare Greek blekhe "a bleating; the wailing of children," Old Church Slavonic blejat "to bleat," Latin flere "to weep"). Related: Bleated; bleating.

bleat

c.1500, from bleat (v.).

Wiktionary
bleat

n. The characteristic cry of a sheep or a goat. vb. 1 Of a sheep or goat, to make its characteristic cry. 2 (context informal English) Of a person, to complain.

WordNet
bleat
  1. n. the sound of sheep or goats (or any sound resembling this)

  2. v. talk whiningly

  3. cry plaintively; "The lambs were bleating" [syn: blate, blat, baa]

Usage examples of "bleat".

Billy was getting tired of the slow gait and being made to stay between the engine and hose-cart instead of riding on the hose-cart as he had been in the habit of doing, when he heard the plaintive bleat of a goat and the sound of a whip.

The other goat opened his mouth to bleat but no sound came from it and Billy stared at the new-comer harder than ever but the stranger goat only stared back.

But the lambs might bleat as pitifully as they liked, the mothers never stirred.

Because they were cheap, she said up scraping plates, and later, in the pall fallen over the room, the dark casements and the cold hearth, the only movement a fugitive couple kissing on the silent screen and the unascribed bleat of digestive juices you know what I never understand here?

And Billy who was not afraid of any man or thing, bleated back that he had, though I doubt whether the man understood him or not.

Now it made Billy mad to have a goat mock everything he did, so he bleated for him to stop immediately or he would hook him down the front stair.

Like a sack of grain she landed atop the crossbowman, who bleated and tried to jump aside.

The thief bleated as the lightning fast head stabbed, fishhook teeth clicking shut an inch from her face.

Nanny saw what had happened she ran up to Billy bleating as if her heart would break for she was very fond of him, and she was afraid they were going to kill him or take him away forever.

When Billy saw her go he ran down the altar steps, upsetting a near-sighted deacon who was coming up to help drive him out, and bleating to Betty that he was coming he rushed through the door.

Her headrail and wimple, which would normally cover the hair of a lady of her high birth, hung ignominiously from a briar thatch just beyond where the Lady Alinor was chasing a ram, who was chasing a bleating sheep.

In the midst of this chaos, a mangy sheepdog galloped over the fells toward them, a flock of bleating sheep following behind.

He tossed the pie to the fauns, who scrambled for it, bleating and whimpering.

There was a grunt, more anguished bleating, and the click-click-click of little hooves on bare floor.

In leaving he had to push his way through a crowd of move-overs, all bleating with fright and trying to crowd inside to be close to their friend Charlie.