Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

mite1

[mahyt]
See more synonyms for mite on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any of numerous small to microscopic arachnids of the subclass Acari, including species that are parasitic on animals and plants or that feed on decaying matter and stored foods.
Show More

Origin of mite1

before 1000; Middle English myte, Old English mīte; cognate with Middle Dutch mīte, Old High German miza midge
Also called acarid.

mite2

[mahyt]
noun
  1. a contribution that is small but is all that a person can afford.
  2. a very small sum of money.
  3. a coin of very small value.
  4. a very small object.
  5. a very small creature.
Show More
adverb
  1. to a small extent; somewhat (often preceded by a): a mite selfish.
Show More

Origin of mite2

1300–50; Middle English myte < Middle Dutch mīte small copper coin; ultimately identical with mite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

speck, insect, bug, particle, parasite, mote, minim, molecule, atom, bit, tick, smidgen, iota, minute, acarid, nit

Examples from the Web for mite

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "It's not the least mite I'm blaming you, honey," said Katy.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • An' you needn't, dear; for nothin' between us is changed a mite.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • I'll take one of 'em, if you say so, or I'll own it don't make a mite o' difference whose they be.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • "Don't you worry one mite about me," she replied, in an even voice.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • I shouldn't wonder a mite if you'd got some o' them stomach troubles along with your cold.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown


British Dictionary definitions for mite

mite1

noun
  1. any of numerous small free-living or parasitic arachnids of the order Acarina (or Acari) that can occur in terrestrial or aquatic habitatsSee also gall mite, harvest mite, itch mite, spider mite Compare tick 2 Related adjective: acaroid
Show More

Word Origin

Old English mīte; compare Old High German mīza gnat, Dutch mijt

mite2

noun
  1. a very small particle, creature, or object
  2. a very small contribution or sum of moneySee also widow's mite
  3. a former Flemish coin of small value
  4. a mite informal somewhathe's a mite foolish
Show More

Word Origin

C14: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch mīte; compare mite 1
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

Word Origin and History for mite

n.1

"tiny animal, minute arachnid," Old English mite, from Proto-Germanic *miton (cf. Middle Dutch mite, Dutch mijt, Old High German miza, Danish mide) originally meaning perhaps "the cutter," in reference to its bite, from Proto-Germanic *mait- (cf. Gothic maitan, Old High German meizen "to cut"), from PIE root *mai- "to cut" (see maim). Or else its original sense is "something small," and it is from PIE *mei- "small," in reference to size (see minus).

Show More

n.2

"little bit," mid-14c., from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German mite "tiny animal," from Proto-Germanic *miton-, from PIE *mei- "small" (see minus), and thus probably identical with mite (n.1). Also the name of a medieval Flemish copper coin of very small value, proverbial in English for "a very small unit of money," hence used since Wyclif to translate Latin minutum from Vulgate in Mark xii:43, itself a translation of Greek lepton. French mite (14c.) is a loan-word from Dutch.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mite in Medicine

mite

(mīt)
n.
  1. Any of numerous small or minute arachnids of the order Acarina, certain species of which are parasitic on animals and plants, infest stored food products, and in some cases transmit disease.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

mite in Science

mite

[mīt]
  1. Any of various very small arachnids of the subclass Acari that often live as parasites on other animals or plants. Like ticks and unlike spiders, mites have no division between the cephalothorax and abdomen.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.