WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
bit1 /bɪt/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. the mouthpiece of a horse's bridle.
  2. a small thin shaft that can be used in a drill or tool for boring into something by twisting:needed a smaller bit for his drill.
  1. Idiomschafe or champ at the bit, to become impatient and restless because of delay:champing at the bit to get started on the test.

bit2 /bɪt/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. a small piece of something:[countable]bits and pieces of wood.
  2. a small quantity of something:[+ ~ + of + uncountable noun]I'd like a bit of wine to go with this.
  3. a short time:[+ ~]Wait a bit.
  4. behavior or actionsassociated with a particular situation, etc.:[countable;  singular;the + ~]doing the Honest Abe bit.
  5. Show Business[countable] Also called bit part. a very small role in a play, movie, or show, containing few or no lines.
  1. Idioms a bit, somewhat;
    a little:a bit late to be up watching TV.
  2. Idioms a bit much, more than can be tolerated:When he started making fun of the boss, it became just a bit much.
  3. Idioms bit by bit, by degrees;
    gradually:"Bit by bit, the bird builds its nest'' is a French proverb.
  4. Idioms do one's bit, to contribute one's share to an effort:I'd like to do my bit for the orphan's fund.
  5. Idioms every bit, quite;
    just:every bit as good as you said it would be.

bit3 /bɪt/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Computinga single, basic unit of computer information, valued at either 0 or 1.

bit4 /bɪt/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. pt. and a pp. of bite.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
bit1  (bit),USA pronunciation n., v.,  bit•ted, bit•ting. 
  1. [Mach.]
    • Mechanical Engineeringa removable drilling or boring tool for use in a brace, drill press, or the like.
    • Mechanical Engineeringa removable boring head used on certain kinds of drills, as a rock drill.
    • Mechanical Engineeringa device for drilling oil wells or the like, consisting of a horizontally rotating blade or an assembly of rotating toothed wheels.
  2. the mouthpiece of a bridle, having fittings at each end to which the reins are fastened. See illus. under  harness. 
  3. anything that curbs or restrains.
  4. Buildingthe blade or iron of a carpenter's plane.
  5. Buildingthe cutting part of an ax or hatchet.
  6. Mechanical Engineeringthe wide portion at the end of an ordinary key that moves the bolt.
  7. Idiomstake the bit in or  between one's teeth, to cast off control;
    willfully go one's own way:He took the bit in his teeth and acted against his parents' wishes.

  1. to put a bit in the mouth of (a horse).
  2. to curb or restrain with, or as with, a bit.
  3. to grind a bit on (a key).
bitless, adj. 
  • bef. 900; Middle English bite, Old English: action of biting; cognate with German Biss, Old Norse bit. See bite

bit2  (bit),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a small piece or quantity of anything:a bit of string.
  2. a short time:Wait a bit.
  3. Informal Termsan amount equivalent to 12½ U.S. cents (used only in even multiples):two bits; six bits.
  4. an act, performance, or routine:She's doing the Camille bit, pretending to be near collapse.
  5. a stereotypic or habitual set of behaviors, attitudes, or styles associated with an individual, role, situation, etc.:the whole Wall Street bit.
  6. Show BusinessAlso called  bit part. a very small role, as in a play or motion picture, containing few or no lines. Cf. walk-on (def. 1).
  7. Currencyany small coin:a threepenny bit.
  8. Currencya Spanish or Mexican silver real worth 12½ cents, formerly current in parts of the U.S.
  9. Idiomsa bit, rather or somewhat;
    a little:a bit sleepy.
  10. Idiomsa bit much, somewhat overdone or beyond tolerability.
  11. Idiomsbit by bit, by degrees;
    gradually:Having saved money bit by bit, they now had enough to buy the land.
  12. Idiomsdo one's bit, to contribute one's share to an effort:They all did their bit during the war.
  13. Idiomsevery bit, quite;
    just:every bit as good.
  14. Idiomsquite a bit, a fairly large amount:There's quite a bit of snow on the ground.
  • bef. 1000; Middle English bite, Old English bita bit, morsel; cognate with German Bissen, Old Norse biti. See bite
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged particle, speck, grain, mite;
      whit, iota, jot;
      scrap, fragment.

bit3  (bit),USA pronunciation n. [Computers.]
  1. ComputingAlso called  binary digit. a single, basic unit of information, used in connection with computers and information theory.
  2. Computingbaud.
  • b(inary) + (dig)it 1945–50

bit4  (bit),USA pronunciation v. 
  1. pt. and a pp. of  bite. 

  • Bachelor of Industrial Technology.

  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    bit /bɪt/ n
    1. a small piece, portion, or quantity
    2. a short time or distance
    3. US Canadian informal the value of an eighth of a dollar: spoken of only in units of two: two bits
    4. any small coin
    5. short for bit part
    6. a bitrather; somewhat: a bit dreary
    7. a bit ofrather: a bit of a dope
    8. a considerable amount: that must take quite a bit of courage
    9. bit by bitgradually
    10. do one's bitto make one's expected contribution
    Etymology: Old English bite action of biting; see bite
    bit /bɪt/ n
    1. a metal mouthpiece, for controlling a horse on a bridle
    2. anything that restrains or curbs
    3. a cutting or drilling tool, part, or head in a brace, drill, etc
    4. the part of a key that engages the levers of a lock
    vb (bits, bitting, bitted)(transitive)
    1. to put a bit in the mouth of (a horse)
    2. to restrain; curb
    Etymology: Old English bita; related to Old English bītan to bite
    bit /bɪt/ vb
    1. the past tense and (archaic) past participle of bite
    bit /bɪt/ n
    1. a single digit of binary notation, represented either by 0 or by 1
    2. the smallest unit of information, indicating the presence or absence of a single feature
    Etymology: 20th Century: from abbreviation of binary digit
    'a bit' also found in these entries:

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