• (noun): A body of water partially enclosed by land but with a wide mouth, affording access to the sea: the Bay of Biscay.
  • (noun): An area of land, such as an arm of prairie partially enclosed by woodland, that resembles in shape or formation a partially enclosed body of water.
  • (noun): Architecture A part of a building marked off by vertical elements, such as columns or pilasters: an arcade divided into ten bays.
  • (noun): Architecture A bay window.
  • (noun): Architecture An opening or recess in a wall.
  • (noun): A section or compartment, as in a service station, barn, or aircraft, that is set off for a specific purpose: a cargo bay; an engine bay.
  • (noun): A sickbay.
  • (noun): Computer Science A drive bay.
  • (adjective): Reddish-brown: a bay colt.
  • (noun): A reddish brown.
  • (noun): A reddish-brown animal, especially a horse having a black mane and tail.
  • (noun): A deep, prolonged bark, such as the sound made by hounds.
  • (noun): The position of one cornered by pursuers and forced to turn and fight at close quarters: The hunters brought their quarry to bay.
  • (noun): The position of having been checked or held at a distance: "He has seen the nuclear threat held at bay for 40 years” ( Earl W. Foell).
  • (verb-intransitive): To utter a deep, prolonged bark.
  • (verb-transitive): To pursue or challenge with barking: "I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon” ( Shakespeare).
  • (verb-transitive): To express by barking or howling: a mob baying its fury.
  • (verb-transitive): To bring to bay: "too big for the dogs which tried to bay it” ( William Faulkner).
  • (noun): See laurel.
  • (noun): Any of certain other trees or shrubs with aromatic foliage, such as the California laurel.
  • (noun): A crown or wreath made especially of the leaves and branches of the laurel and given as a sign of honor or victory.
  • (noun): Honor; renown. Often used in the plural.

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Wordnet definitions

  • (noun): a horse of a moderate reddish-brown color
  • (noun): a small recess opening off a larger room
  • (noun): a compartment in an aircraft used for some specific purpose; "he opened the bomb bay"
  • (noun): a compartment on a ship between decks; often used as a hospital; "they put him in the sick bay"
  • (noun): small Mediterranean evergreen tree with small blackish berries and glossy aromatic leaves used for flavoring in cooking; also used by ancient Greeks to crown victors
  • (noun): the sound of a hound on the scent
  • (noun): an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf
  • (adjective): (used of animals especially a horse) of a moderate reddish-brown color
  • (verb): bark with prolonged noises, of dogs
  • (verb): utter in deep prolonged tones

Look up "bay" to find its meanings and associations with other words and concepts


A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a gulf, sea, sound, or bight. A cove is a type of smaller bay with a circular inlet and narrow entrance. A fjord is a particularly steep bay shaped by glacial activity.
A bay can be the estuary of a river, such as the Chesapeake Bay, an estuary of the Susquehanna River. Bays may also be nested within each other; for example, James Bay is an arm of Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada. Some large bays, such as the Bay of Bengal and Hudson Bay, have varied marine geology.
The land surrounding a bay often reduces the strength of winds and blocks waves. Bays were significant in the history of human settlement because they provided safe places for fishing. Later they were important in the development of sea trade as the safe anchorage they provide encouraged their selection as ports.

Example Sentences

  • The name of this bay has a less unpleasant meaning in the Indian, than in the French language, signifying also _salt bay_, which induced Father

  • They arrived in a fine bay on the 15th, twenty-one leagues from the mouth of the straits, called _Muscle bay_ by the English, because of the great quantities of muscles found there, and here they provided themselves abundantly with fresh water and wood.

  • II. i.254 (37,7) [I'll rent the fairest house in it, after three pence a bay] A _bay_ of building is, in many parts of England, a common term, of which the best conception that I could ever attain, is, that it is the space between the main beams of the roof; so that a barn crossed twice with beams is a barn of three

  • Vancouver, who had just driven off a colony of Spaniards established on the coast, under the command of Señor Quadra (England and Spain being then at war), despatched his first-lieutenant Broughton, who ascended the river in boats some one hundred and twenty or one hundred and fifty miles, took possession of the country in the name of his Britannic majesty, giving the river the name of the _Columbia_, and to the bay where the American captain stopped, that of _Gray's bay_.

  • The term bay – ice should possibly, therefore, be dropped altogether, especially since, even in the Arctic, its meaning is not altogether

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