bite(bīt),USA pronunciationv.,bit, bit•ten or bit, bit•ing,n. v.t.
to cut, wound, or tear with the teeth:She bit the apple greedily. The lion bit his trainer.
to grip or hold with the teeth:Stop biting your lip!
to sting, as does an insect.
to cause to smart or sting:an icy wind that bit our faces.
to sever with the teeth (often fol. by off):Don't bite your nails. The child bit off a large piece of the candy bar.
to start to eat (often fol. by into):She bit into her steak.
to clamp the teeth firmly on or around (often fol. by on):He bit hard on the stick while they removed the bullet from his leg.
to take advantage of; cheat; deceive:I got bitten in a mail-order swindle.
to annoy or upset; anger:What's biting you, sorehead?
to eat into or corrode, as does an acid.
to cut or pierce with, or as with, a weapon:The sword split his helmet and bit him fatally.
Fine Art[Etching.]to etch with acid (a copper or other surface) in such parts as are left bare of a protective coating.
to take firm hold or act effectively on:We need a clamp to bite the wood while the glue dries.
[Archaic.]to make a decided impression on; affect.
to press the teeth into something; attack with the jaws, bill, sting, etc.; snap:Does your parrot bite?
Sport[Angling.](of fish) to take bait:The fish aren't biting today.
to accept an offer or suggestion, esp. one intended to trick or deceive:I knew it was a mistake, but I bit anyway.
Informal Termsto admit defeat in guessing:I'll bite, who is it?
to act effectively; grip; hold:This wood is so dry the screws don't bite.
Slang Termsto be notably repellent, disappointing, poor, etc.; suck.
Idiomsbite off more than one can chew, to attempt something that exceeds one's capacity:In trying to build a house by himself, he bit off more than he could chew.
Idiomsbite someone's head off, to respond with anger or impatience to someone's question or comment:He'll bite your head off if you ask for anything.
Idiomsbite the bullet. See bullet (def. 6).
Idiomsbite the dust. See dust (def. 14).
Idiomsbite the hand that feeds one, to repay kindness with malice or injury:When he berates his boss, he is biting the hand that feeds him.
an act of biting.
a wound made by biting:a deep bite.
a cutting, stinging, or nipping effect:the bite of an icy wind; the bite of whiskey on the tongue.
a piece bitten off:Chew each bite carefully.
a small meal:Let's have a bite before the theater.
a portion severed from the whole:the government's weekly bite of my paycheck.
a morsel of food:not a bite to eat.
the occlusion of one's teeth:The dentist said I had a good bite.
Mechanical Engineeringthe catch or hold that one object or one part of a mechanical apparatus has on another.
Mechanical Engineeringa surface brought into contact to obtain a hold or grip, as in a lathe chuck or similar device.
Mechanical Engineeringthe amount of material that a mechanical shovel or the like can carry at one time.
sharpness; incisiveness; effectiveness:The bite of his story is spoiled by his slovenly style.
the roughness of the surface of a file.
Metallurgythe maximum angle, measured from the center of a roll in a rolling mill, between a perpendicular and a line to the point of contact where a given object to be rolled will enter between the rolls.
Idioms, Slang Termsput the bite on,[Slang.]
to solicit or attempt to borrow money or something of value from.
to press for money, as in extortion:They found out about his prison record and began to put the bite on him.
bef. 1000; Middle English biten, Old English bītan; cognate with Old High German bīzan (German beissen), Gothic beitan, Old Norse bīta; akin to Latin findere to split
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged gnaw, chew, nip.
27.See corresponding entry in Unabridged mouthful, morsel, taste; scrap, crumb, dab.
28.See corresponding entry in Unabridged snack, nosh.