denoting a deceptive method of selling, by which customers, attracted to a store by sale items, are told either that the advertised bargain item is out of stock or is inferior to a higher-priced item that is available.
an act or instance of such practice.
A deceptive commercial practice in which customers are induced to visit a store by an advertised sale item and then are told that it is out of stock or that it is far inferior to some more expensive item. For example, I won’t buy a car from this outfit; they’re notorious for their bait and switch tactics. The verb to bait has meant to supply a hook or trap with a morsel of food so as to attract a fish or animal since about 1300; the verb to switch has meant to change, alter, or transfer from one thing to another since the 1890s. The pairing of the two, however, dates only from the 1920s, although the practice is surely much older. It is called switch-selling in Britain.
- Bait casting
the act or technique of casting an artificial or natural lure attached to a silk or nylon line wound on a reel having a revolving spool, the rod used being shorter and less flexible than that used in fly casting. Historical Examples Ted used the crudest kind of hook and line for bait casting. Unexplored! […]
a small fish that is a source of food for a larger fish: Fishermen knew the presence of baitfish meant plenty of bass nearby. Angling. any small fish, as a minnow or shiner, used as bait.
both. Historical Examples If I had been her, I wad hae blazed it baith to kirk and council;—to his wife’s ear, and to his minister’s! The Shepherd’s Calendar James Hogg There’s mony chances, baith o’ gude and ill, befa’ folk in this warld. The Proverbs of Scotland Alexander Hislop Ye are baith a pair o’ […]
- Bait money
bait money noun phrase Money given to a thief containing a device that will dye the money and the thief (1990s+)