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 followed by off): Don't bite your nails. The child bit off a large piece of the candy bar.
to start to eat (often followed by into): She bit into her steak.
to clamp the teeth firmly on or around (often followed by on): He bit hard on the stick while they removed the bullet from his leg.
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.
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?
Angling. (of fish) to take bait: The fish aren't biting today.
to accept an offer or suggestion, especially one intended to trick or deceive: I knew it was a mistake, but I bit anyway.
Informal. to admit defeat in guessing: I'll bite, who is it?
Slang. to be notably repellent, disappointing, poor, etc.; suck.
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.
the catch or hold that one object or one part of a mechanical apparatus has on another.
a surface brought into contact to obtain a hold or grip, as in a lathe chuck or similar device.
the 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.
Metalworking. the 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 about bite
bite 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.
bite / snap 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.
bite the bullet. bullet (def. 7).
bite the dust. dust (def. 21).
bite 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.
put 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.
- bit·a·ble, bite·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bite in a sentence
If I’m looking at an enterprise size ecommerce site, I like to approach this in bite size pieces rather than tackling the entire site at the same time.How search data can inform larger online business decisions | Sebastian Compagnucci | August 5, 2020 | Search Engine Land
The discovery raises the possibility that caecilians may be the first amphibians found capable of delivering a venomous bite.Bizarre caecilians may be the only amphibians with venomous bites | Christie Wilcox | July 3, 2020 | Science News
Scientists waiting with forceps and a razor on a lab rooftop tried to mimic bee activity in real time, bite by bite, on comparison plants.
Ancient relatives of today’s anchovies once had quite the bite.Saber-toothed anchovy relatives were once fearsome hunters | Carolyn Wilke | June 11, 2020 | Science News For Students
People really need to understand that they need to do something, do it regularly, and it’s okay to take it in small bites.
Leapolitan responded by saying, “hopefully youll [sic] bite into a poison apple.”
One bite too many, and I could look down and practically see my thighs expanding before my eyes.
Taking a bite out of it made me feel like I was at a family bris… in a good, nostalgic way.
She has this little bit of a bite to her and a fight within her that does come through in little moments.
As soon as she took a bite of the apple, she fell to the ground and was dead.In New Brothers Grimm 'Snow White', The Prince Doesn't Save Her | The Brothers Grimm | November 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Woe to the man that first did teach the cursed steel to bite in his own flesh, and make way to the living spirit.Pearls of Thought | Maturin M. Ballou
But if people will insist on patting a strange poet, they mustn't be surprised if they get a nasty bite!
At noon we camped, and cooked a bite of dinner while the horses grazed; ate it, and went on again.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
The insects frequently hibernate in warmed houses, and may bite during the winter.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
He showed his rows of little, straight, white teeth, which looked strong enough to bite through a bar of iron.Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for bite
to grip, cut off, or tear with or as if with the teeth or jaws
(of animals, insects, etc) to injure by puncturing or tearing (the skin or flesh) with the teeth, fangs, etc, esp as a natural characteristic
(tr) to cut or penetrate, as with a knife
(of corrosive material such as acid) to eat away or into
to smart or cause to smart; sting: mustard bites the tongue
(intr) angling (of a fish) to take or attempt to take the bait or lure
to take firm hold of or act effectively upon
to grip or hold (a workpiece) with a tool or chuck
(of a screw, thread, etc) to cut into or grip (an object, material, etc)
(tr) informal to annoy or worry: what's biting her?
(often passive) slang to cheat
(tr often foll by for) Australian and NZ slang to ask (for); scrounge from
bite off more than one can chew informal to attempt a task beyond one's capability
bite the bullet to face up to (pain, trouble, etc) with fortitude; be stoical
bite someone's head off to respond harshly and rudely (to)
bite the dust See dust (def. 11)
bite the hand that feeds one to repay kindness with injury or ingratitude
once bitten, twice shy after an unpleasant experience one is cautious in similar situations
put the bite on someone Australian slang to ask someone for money
the act of biting
a thing or amount bitten off
a wound, bruise, or sting inflicted by biting
angling an attempt by a fish to take the bait or lure
informal an incisive or penetrating effect or quality: that's a question with a bite
a light meal; snack
a cutting, stinging, or smarting sensation
the depth of cut of a machine tool
the grip or hold applied by a tool or chuck to a workpiece
dentistry the angle or manner of contact between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed naturally
the surface of a file or rasp with cutting teeth
the corrosive action of acid, as on a metal etching plate
- biter, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with bite
In addition to the idioms beginning with bite
- bite off more than one can chew
- bite one's nails
- bite one's tongue
- bite someone's head off
- bite the bullet
- bite the dust
- bite the hand that feeds you
- bark is worse than one's bite
- put the bite on
- sound bite
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.