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bite

bite / bīt/ • v. (past bit / bit/ ; past part. bit·ten / ˈbitn/ ) [intr.] 1. (of a person or animal) use the teeth to cut into something in order to eat it: Rosa bit into a cupcake. ∎  [tr.] (of an animal or a person) use the teeth in order to inflict injury on: she had bitten, scratched, and kicked her assailant. ∎  [tr.] (of a snake, insect, or arachnid) wound with a sting, pincers, or fangs: getting bitten by mosquitoes. ∎  (of a fish) take the bait or lure on the end of a fishing line into the mouth. ∎ fig. (of a person) be persuaded to accept a deal or offer: a hundred or so retailers should bite. 2. (of a tool, tire, boot, etc.) grip a surface: once on the wet grass, my boots failed to bite. ∎  (of an object) press into a part of the body, causing pain: the handcuffs bit into his wrists. ∎ fig. cause emotional pain: Cheryl's betrayal had bitten deep. • n. 1. an act of biting into something in order to eat it: Stephen ate a hot dog in three big bites. ∎  a piece cut off by biting: Robyn took a large bite out of her sandwich. ∎ inf. a quick snack: I plan to stop off in the village and have a bite to eat. ∎  a wound inflicted by an animal's or a person's teeth: Perry's dog had given her a nasty bite. ∎  a wound inflicted by a snake, insect, or arachnid: suspected it to be a tick bite. ∎  an act of bait being taken by a fish: by four o'clock he still hadn't had a single bite. ∎  Dentistry the bringing together of the teeth in occlusion. 2. a sharp or pungent flavor: a fresh, lemony bite. ∎  incisiveness or cogency of style: his colorful characterizations brought added bite to the story. ∎  a feeling of cold in the air or wind: by early October there's a bite in the air. PHRASES: be bitten by the —— bug develop a passionate interest in a specified activity: Joe was bitten by the showbiz bug at the age of four. bite the bullet decide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over. bite the dust inf. be killed: and the bad guys bite the dust with lead in their bellies. ∎ fig. fail; come to an end: she hoped the new program would not bite the dust for lack of funding. bite the hand that feeds one deliberately hurt or offend a benefactor. bite one's lip dig one's front teeth into one's lip in embarrassment, grief, or annoyance, or to prevent oneself from saying something or to control oneself when experiencing physical pain. ∎ fig. forcing oneself to remain silent even though annoyed, provoked, or in possession of information: he could have mocked Carol's obnoxious behavior, but he bit his lip. bite off more than one can chew take on a commitment one cannot fulfill. bite one's tongue make a desperate effort to avoid saying something: I had to bite my tongue and accept his explanation. put the bite on inf. borrow or extort money from. take a bite out of inf. reduce by a significant amount: insurance costs that can take a bite out of your retirement funds.DERIVATIVES: bit·er n.

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bite

bite bite one's thumb at insult by making the gesture of biting one's thumb; in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1595), in a scene between two quarrelling servants, one when challenged says to the other, ‘I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.’
bite the bullet behave stoically; the reference is to a wounded soldier undergoing surgery without the aid of anaesthetics.
bite the hand that feeds one injure a benefactor; the expression is recorded from the late 18th century, and is first recorded in Edmund Burke's Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770).

See also one's bark is worse than one's bite, dead men don't bite, second bite at the cherry.

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bite

bite pt. bit, pp. bitten, bit. OE. bītan, pt. bāt, biton, pp. biten = OS, bītan, OHG. bīzan (G. beissen), ON. bita, Goth. beitan :- Gmc. *bītan; the corr. short base is repr. by Skr. bhidyáte is split, L. fid-, findere cleave.
Hence bite sb. XV.

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Bite

Bite

a piece bitten off; a mouthful, 1535; Thieves cant. cash or money.

Example: a bite of mites (modern pun).

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bite

biteaffright, alight, alright, aright, bedight, bight, bite, blight, bright, byte, cite, dight, Dwight, excite, fight, flight, fright, goodnight, height, ignite, impolite, indict, indite, invite, kite, knight, light, lite, might, mite, night, nite, outfight, outright, plight, polite, quite, right, rite, shite, sight, site, skintight, skite, sleight, slight, smite, Snow-white, spite, sprite, tight, tonight, trite, twite, underwrite, unite, uptight, white, wight, wright, write •Shiite • Trotskyite • McCarthyite •Vishnuite • Sivaite • albite •snakebite • frostbite • soundbite •kilobyte • columbite • love bite •Moabite • megabyte • gigabyte •Jacobite • Rechabite • jadeite •lyddite • expedite • cordite • erudite •Luddite • recondite • troglodyte •hermaphrodite • extradite

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