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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
bite /baɪt/USA pronunciation   v.,  bit/bɪt/USA pronunciation  bit•ten /ˈbɪtən/USA pronunciation  or bit, bit•ing, n. 
  1. to cut or tear with the teeth:[+ object]The cat bit me.[+ into + object]The cat bit into my arm.
  2. to cut (something) off with the teeth;
    sever: [+ off + object]bit off a piece of meat.[+ object + off]bit a piece off.
  3. to grip with the teeth:[+ object]Our hero bit the rope and hung off the cliff by his teeth.
  4. (of an insect) to sting: [+ object]bitten by a mosquito.[no object]The flies are biting today.
  5. to cause to sting:[+ object]faces bitten by the icy wind.
  6. to take firm hold (of): [+ object]studded tires that bite the road.[no object]When you feel the gears beginning to bite, let up on the clutch.
  7. Sport[no object]
    • (of fish) to take bait (and hence get caught):Are the fish biting today?
    • to respond to an offer or suggestion:It was a pretty good offer, but she didn't bite.

n. [countable]
  1. an act of biting.
  2. a wound made by biting:The doctors treated several dog bites.
  3. a cutting, stinging, or nipping effect:That wine had quite a bite to it.
  4. a piece bitten off:Chew each bite carefully.
  5. a small meal:[usually singular]Let's go out for a bite.
  6. a morsel of food:I'll have a little bite of your salmon.
  7. a portion demanded or taken: a big bite of my paycheck.
  8. Dentistrythe way the upper and lower teeth come together:The orthodontist said I needed work to correct my bite.
  1. Idiomsbite off more than one can chew, to attempt something that exceeds one's ability:Writing a novel was biting off more than he could chew.
  2. Idiomsbite one's tongue, to suppress one's anger:I thought I might lose my temper so I bit my tongue instead.
  3. Idioms bite someone's head off, to respond with anger to someone's question or comment:When the students asked for more time to write their papers, the teacher nearly bit their heads off.
  4. Idioms bite the bullet. See bullet (def. 6).
  5. Idioms bite the dust. See dust (def. 14).
  6. Idioms bite the hand that feeds one, to repay kindness with malice or injury:I had helped him throughout his career, but when he got into trouble he turned and bit the hand that fed him.
  7. Idioms put the bite on, [+ object][Slang.]to try to borrow or get money from:Let's put the bite on auntie, she's got plenty of dough.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
bite  (bīt),USA pronunciation v.,  bit, bit•ten  or bit, bit•ing, n. 
  1. to cut, wound, or tear with the teeth:She bit the apple greedily. The lion bit his trainer.
  2. to grip or hold with the teeth:Stop biting your lip!
  3. to sting, as does an insect.
  4. to cause to smart or sting:an icy wind that bit our faces.
  5. 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.
  6. to start to eat (often fol. by into):She bit into her steak.
  7. 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.
  8. Informal Terms
    • to take advantage of;
      deceive:I got bitten in a mail-order swindle.
    • to annoy or upset;
      anger:What's biting you, sorehead?
  9. to eat into or corrode, as does an acid.
  10. to cut or pierce with, or as with, a weapon:The sword split his helmet and bit him fatally.
  11. Fine Art[Etching.]to etch with acid (a copper or other surface) in such parts as are left bare of a protective coating.
  12. to take firm hold or act effectively on:We need a clamp to bite the wood while the glue dries.
  13. [Archaic.]to make a decided impression on;

  1. to press the teeth into something;
    attack with the jaws, bill, sting, etc.;
    snap:Does your parrot bite?
  2. Sport[Angling.](of fish) to take bait:The fish aren't biting today.
  3. to accept an offer or suggestion, esp. one intended to trick or deceive:I knew it was a mistake, but I bit anyway.
  4. Informal Termsto admit defeat in guessing:I'll bite, who is it?
  5. to act effectively;
    hold:This wood is so dry the screws don't bite.
  6. Slang Termsto be notably repellent, disappointing, poor, etc.;
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Idiomsbite the bullet. See  bullet (def. 6).
  10. Idiomsbite the dust. See  dust (def. 14).
  11. 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.

  1. an act of biting.
  2. a wound made by biting:a deep bite.
  3. a cutting, stinging, or nipping effect:the bite of an icy wind; the bite of whiskey on the tongue.
  4. a piece bitten off:Chew each bite carefully.
  5. a small meal:Let's have a bite before the theater.
  6. a portion severed from the whole:the government's weekly bite of my paycheck.
  7. a morsel of food:not a bite to eat.
  8. the occlusion of one's teeth:The dentist said I had a good bite.
  9. Mechanical Engineering[Mach.]
    • 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.
  10. sharpness;
    effectiveness:The bite of his story is spoiled by his slovenly style.
  11. the roughness of the surface of a file.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
bita•ble, bitea•ble, adj. 
  • 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.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
bite /baɪt/ vb (bites, biting, bit, bitten)
  1. to grip, cut off, or tear with or as if with the teeth or jaws
  2. (of animals, insects, etc) to injure by puncturing or tearing (the skin or flesh) with the teeth, fangs, etc, esp as a natural characteristic
  3. (transitive) to cut or penetrate, as with a knife
  4. (of corrosive material such as acid) to eat away or into
  5. to smart or cause to smart; sting
  6. (intransitive) (of a fish) to take or attempt to take the bait or lure
  7. to take firm hold of or act effectively upon
  8. (transitive) informal to annoy or worry: what's biting her?
  9. (often passive) slang to cheat
  10. (transitive) often followed by for: Austral NZ slang to ask (for); scrounge from
  11. bite the dust
    See dust
  12. put the bite on someoneAustral slang to ask someone for money
  1. the act of biting
  2. a thing or amount bitten off
  3. a wound, bruise, or sting inflicted by biting
  4. an attempt by a fish to take the bait or lure
  5. a light meal; snack
  6. a cutting, stinging, or smarting sensation
  7. the angle or manner of contact between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed naturally
Etymology: Old English bītan; related to Latin findere to split, Sanskrit bhedati he splits

ˈbiter n

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