Bated (breath)

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The common cliché meaning 'to wait anxiously for something' - with bated breath - is spelled that way, not "with baited breath" (see bait).

Bated is a shortened from of 'abated'. Bated means "Lowered or lessened in position, amount, force, estimation, etc" (OED 1885). In the phrase |"in bated breath", it means: 'breathing subdued or restrained under the influence of awe, terror, or other emotion' (ibid.).