Part of speech:
It's both transitive (you bate something)
and intransitive (something bates.)
To bate something is to hold it back to make it smaller or make it less intense.
When things bate, they become smaller or less intense.
("Bate" has several other meanings also, which we won't get into.)
"Abate" means the exact same thing as "bate."
(You abate something, or talk about how something abates.)
Because of that, let's consider both of the words throughout this issue.
It's good to know that "bate" and "abate" have the same root (meaning "to beat," just as you'd expect, like in "bat" and "debate") and in fact "bate" came along as a shorter version of "abate."
bated, bating, abated, abating, abatement, unabated, unabating
How to use it:
The most common phrase is "bated breath," as in "She waited for the test results with bated breath," meaning she's holding in her breath.
But "bate" is useful beyond that phrase. Talk about bating a feeling, like bating someone's excitement or bating a nation's hopes. You can note how a storm or the winds are bating, how a conflict or pain or difficulty is bating, and so on.
In all the examples in the paragraph above, you can substitute "abate."
Finally, talk about things being unabated (or unabating) to emphasize how their intensity is not decreasing: "Discussion continued unabated." "I envy her unabated energy." "His unabating optimism inspires me."
(Yes, you can use "unbated" or "unbating," but I don't recommend them because they seem very rare. Some people emphasize how NOT excited they are by "waiting with unbated breath.")
Knowing just how tiny your chance of winning the lottery is doesn't have to bate your excitement when you buy a ticket, if you do it simply for the thrill of having that possibility.
My daughter's love for Sid the Science Kid continues unabated, so I believe we've watched each episode about three times now.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "bate” and "abate" mean when you can explain them without saying “lessen the force" or “reduce the intensity."
Think of something you used to be much more interested in than you are now, and fill in the blanks: "My interest in _____ abated when/as _____."
Example: "My interest in other people's approval of me has abated as I've gotten older."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the thoughtful and thorough reference book that I got them from: Last Words of Notable People!
A Point Well Made:
Muriel Barbery: "Pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language."
1. The opposite of BATE is
2. Due to unabating demand for the product, _____
A. it's slowly being pulled from the stores that tried to sell it.
B. profits have been acceptable but decreasing as the months go by.
C. we're raising the price and creating three new varieties.
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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