Bated breath

Posted by ESC on July 06, 2003

In Reply to: Baited breath posted by Clarice on July 06, 2003

: What does the phrase..'waiting with baited breath' mean, and what is it's orgin?

It is "bated breath," as in holding your breath. From Merriam-Webster online:

Main Entry: 1bate
Pronunciation: 'bAt
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): bat·ed; bat·ing
Etymology: Middle English, short for abaten to abate
Date: 14th century
transitive senses
1 : to reduce the force or intensity of : RESTRAIN

See an explanation of the phrase 'bated breath'.