bay


bay
bay1
/bay/, n.
1. a body of water forming an indentation of the shoreline, larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf.
2. South Atlantic States. an arm of a swamp.
3. a recess of land, partly surrounded by hills.
4. an arm of a prairie or swamp, extending into woods and partly surrounded by them.
[1350-1400; ME baye < MF baie < ML, LL baia, perh. by back formation from L Baiae name of a spa on the Bay of Naples]
Syn. 1. inlet, estuary, sound, firth, bight.
bay2
/bay/, n.
1. Archit.
a. any of a number of similar major vertical divisions of a large interior, wall, etc.: The nave is divided into six bays.
b. a division of a window between a mullion and an adjoining mullion or jamb.
c. See bay window (def. 1).
2. Aeron.
a. any portion of an airplane set off by two successive bulkheads or other bracing members.
b. a compartment in an aircraft: a bomb bay; an engine bay.
3. a compartment, as in a barn for storing hay.
4. Also called drive bay. an open compartment in the console housing a computer's CPU in which a disk drive, tape drive, etc., may be installed.
5. Naut.
a. the deck space between the anchor windlass and the stem of a vessel.
b. See sick bay.
[1275-1325; ME < MF baee an opening in a wall, n. use of fem. ptp. of baer to stand open, gape < VL *batare]
Syn. 3. alcove, nook, recess, niche; loft, garret.
bay3
/bay/, n.
1. a deep, prolonged howl, as of a hound on the scent.
2. the position or stand of an animal or fugitive that is forced to turn and resist pursuers because it is no longer possible to flee (usually prec. by at or to): a stag at bay; to bring an escaped convict to bay.
3. the situation of a person or thing that is forced actively to oppose or to succumb to some adverse condition (usually prec. by at or to).
4. the situation of being actively opposed by an animal, person, etc., so as to be powerless to act fully (often prec. by at).
v.i.
5. to howl, esp. with a deep, prolonged sound, as a hound on the scent.
v.t.
6. to assail with deep, prolonged howling: a troubled hound baying the moon.
7. to bring to or to hold at bay: A dog bays its quarry.
[1250-1300; ME, aph. var. of abay < AF, dial. OF abai barking, n. deriv. of abaier to bark, from an imit. base *bay-]
Syn. 5. roar, bellow, bark, bell, clamor.
bay4
/bay/, n.
1. laurel (def. 1).
2. Also called bayberry, bay rum tree. a tropical American shrub, Pimenta racemosa, having aromatic leaves that are used in making bay oil and bay rum.
3. any of various laurellike trees or shrubs.
4. any of several magnolias.
5. an honorary garland or crown bestowed for military victory, literary excellence, etc.
6. bays, fame; renown.
[1350-1400; ME bai(e), OE beg- (in begbeam lit., berry tree), conflated with MF baie < L baca, bacca berry]
bay5
/bay/, n.
1. reddish brown.
2. a horse or other animal of reddish-brown color.
adj.
3. (of horses or other animals) having a reddish-brown body.
[1300-50; ME < MF bai < L badius; cf. OIr buide yellow]

* * *

I
Any of several small trees with aromatic leaves, especially the sweet bay, or bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), source of the bay leaf used in cooking.

The California laurel (Umbellularia californica) is an ornamental tree also called the bay tree. The bay rum tree, or simply bay (Pimenta racemosa), has leaves and twigs that yield, when distilled, oil of bay, which is used in perfumery and in the preparation of bay rum, a fragrant cosmetic and medicinal liquid.
II
In architecture, any division of a building between vertical lines or planes, especially the entire space included between the centerlines of two adjacent vertical supports.

The space between two columns or pilasters, or from pier to pier in a church, including that part of the vaulting (see vault) or ceiling between them, is thus called a bay.
III
Semicircular or nearly circular concavity, similar to a gulf but usually smaller.

Bays may range from a few hundred yards to several hundred miles from side to side. They are usually located where easily eroded rocks, such as clays and sandstones, are bounded by harder, more erosion-resistant formations of igneous rocks, such as granite, or hard calcareous rocks, such as massive limestones. Some bays form excellent harbours.
IV
(as used in expressions)
Dublin Bay prawn
Abu Qir Bay
Bay Laguna de
Bengal Bay of
Cádiz Bay of
Campeche Bay of
Marshfield Bay
Fundy Bay of
Hudson's Bay Co.
Islands Bay of
Manila Bay Battle of
Mobile Bay Battle of
Naples Bay of
Quinte Bay of
Whales Bay of
Biscay Bay of

* * *

 in architecture, any division of a building between vertical lines or planes, especially the entire space included between two adjacent supports; thus, the space between two columns, or pilasters, or from pier to pier in a church, including that part of the vaulting or ceiling between them, is known as a bay.

▪ coastal feature
 concavity of a coastline or reentrant of the sea, formed by the movements of either the sea or a lake. The difference between a bay and a gulf is not clearly defined, but the term bay usually refers to a body of water somewhat smaller than a gulf. Numerous exceptions, however, are found throughout the world, such as the Bay of Bengal, which is larger than the Gulf of Mexico and about the same size as the Arabian Sea.

      A brief treatment of bays follows. For full treatment, see ocean: Gulfs and bays (ocean).

      A bay is usually located where more easily eroded rocks (erosion), such as clays, silts, and some sandstones, are bounded by harder and more resistant formations made from igneous rocks, such as granite, or hard calcareous rocks, such as massive limestones, which are more resistant to the erosional forces of the land and sea or lake. The harder rocks therefore stand out as promontories projecting out to sea, often with caves that may in some cases link the two sides of the promontory, thus creating an island, perhaps with a natural bridge to the mainland. This bridge will later fall as a result of erosion and weathering and leave an island completely separated from the mainland.

      The softer rocks between the promontories are subjected to more rapid erosion as lines of waves, initially with their crests approaching the coastline at an oblique angle, turn to approach the shoreline head-on because of wave impedance by the shallower, nearshore seabed, so that the end of the line of waves closest to shore moves forward more slowly than the end farther out to sea. In this way the lines of waves gradually turn as they move around the windward headland to sweep directly onshore in the bay. The erosion of the soft rocks of the bay is most rapid during storms, when material eroded just behind the line of breakers is thrown by the waves farther up the beach; in this way a series of ridges may mark a succession of storms, particularly where the beach material is mainly pebbles. The wind may then carry the finest beach material inland beyond the high-water mark, where it may be deposited in a zone of sand dunes (sand dune). These may, if uncontrolled, move miles inland. The most common method of dune stabilization is the encouragement of deep-rooted marram grass.

      There are no defined dimensions for bays. Smaller bays may be only a few hundred metres wide, while others, such as the Bay of Biscay off Spain and France and Hudson Bay in Canada, are several hundred kilometres from side to side. Some of these larger bays may represent depressions in the ground, formed by vertical earth movements or glacial erosion by ice sheets. Hudson Bay is of this latter type. All bays are semicircular or nearly circular in shape, which distinguishes them from estuaries (estuary), which are elongated and funnel-shaped with a river running along the centre line and with beaches mainly near the mouth of the estuary. Estuaries and some of the more enclosed and sheltered bays form excellent harbours, provided that the seabed is deep enough and well-scoured. They were popular sites for early settlements, and a number of the larger coastal cities today have their original cores around a bay that provided protection for ships at anchor.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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