Top definition
It means what you think it means: bait for clicks. It's a link which entices you to click on it.

The "bait" comes in many shapes and sizes, but it is usually intentionally misleading and/or crassly provocative. Clicking will inevitably cause disappointment. Clickbait is usually created for money.

One common type is adverts and spam, such as you might find on a random website or in your Facebook feed. Such clickbait usually leads to a site which tries to sell you something or possibly extort you, by withholding the promised "bait". Typical examples include: a sexy picture which promises to show more; suggestive and intriguing captions, like "you won't believe what this hot girl did"; stories designed to inflame people, such as by playing on political passions, like "woman demands more benefits to pay for comfort eating"; and claimed weight loss methods or body building methods, often with some "weird easy trick".

The second main variety is headlines to media sites which make money from page views. Common offenders are Buzzfeed, and Gawker and its affiliated sites. The headlines are designed to cause maximum provocation or interest, but as a result are frequently extremely exaggerated or flat out lies, and the articles themselves are often just as shoddy.
Thanks for wasting my time with this lying clickbait, random Gawker editor. Congratulations, you've gotten your two cents out of me. Now off you go and spend it on your favourite brand of cheap gin - the one you swill at night as you silently shed tears whilst contemplating your miserable, tortured existence and failed journalism career.
by Gloone February 23, 2015
Get the mug
Get a clickbait mug for your dad Jerry.
Jun 6 Word of the Day
True of COVID-19 sufferers and of George Floyd. The key phrase at this moment in American history.
"I can't breathe, said Floyd as he was being suffocated. "I can't breathe" thought more than 100,000 victims as they were dying of Covid. "I can't breathe" chanted countless Americans in the streets, protesting enduring police brutality.
by Monkey's Dad June 01, 2020
Get the merch
Get the I can't breathe neck gaiter and mug.
2
When a news article or link has a provocative title in order to get you to click on it.
Even though it's actually total sensationalism bullshit.
TITLE
'President Obama loves KKK!?'

"Hey what the fuck, Deshaun you see this shit?"
"Ahah man, that shit's just click-bait!"
*click*
"Obama loves the Krispey Kreme's new special item, 'Krispey Glazed Bear Claws.'"
by John Nostalgia August 02, 2014
Get the merch
Get the Click-Bait neck gaiter and mug.
4
A cheap tactic used to gain views. Common types of clickbait are misleading titles (You Won't Believe What Happens Next!) or more recently with the rise of custom YouTube thumbnails, misleading thumbnails-most commonly boobs.
1) There are so many clickbait articles here. Who writes this stuff anyway?

2) Anything from Flashgitz. Seriously.
by Pitchy May 22, 2016
Get the mug
Get a clickbait mug for your cat Julia.
5
(noun, pejorative) A seemingly innocent posting on social media that contains a link to more content, but whose true goal is to trick the viewer into clicking on the link so that the writer can collect view stats -- usually for monetary or for narcissistic purposes.
That tweet on how to get girls/guys was just clickbait -- it linked to some book on Amazon.

That posting in my stream titled "What This Person Did For That Will AMAZE You!" was just clickbait and linked to a paid advertisement video.
by Professor F. October 27, 2014
Get the merch
Get the Clickbait neck gaiter and mug.
6
An eyecatching link on a website which encourages people to read on. It is often paid for by the advertiser ("Paid" click bait) or generates income based on the number of clicks.
This is not news, really. It’s click bait, the stuff pageviews are made of.

OR

This is the worst article I've ever read, clearly from a massive Microsoft hater or paid by Apple/Google. It's just paid FUD clickbait, wouldn't expect any better of news.com.au. Source: Whirlpool Forum 21 Oct 2012.
by John Prior October 30, 2012
Get the mug
Get a click bait mug for your Facebook friend Bob.