bit between one's teeth


To face up resolutely to a hard task: “Ralph is having a difficult time in medical school now, but once he takes the bit between his teeth, there's no stopping him.” The bit is the part of a bridle that fits into a gap between the teeth in the back of a horse's mouth. By pulling on the reins, which in turn pull the bit back against the horse's mouth, the rider is able to stop or turn the horse. If the horse takes the bit between its teeth, it can't be stopped.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Words nearby bit between one's teeth

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.