noun \ˈbit\

Definition of BIT

a (1) :  the biting or cutting edge or part of a tool (2) :  a replaceable part of a compound tool that actually performs the function (as drilling or boring) for which the whole tool is designed
b plural :  the jaws of tongs or pincers
:  something bitten or held with the teeth:
a :  the usually steel part of a bridle inserted in the mouth of a horse
b :  the rimmed mouth end on the stem of a pipe or cigar holder
:  something that curbs or restrains
:  the part of a key that enters the lock and acts on the bolt and tumblers

Illustration of BIT

Origin of BIT

Middle English bitt, from Old English bite act of biting; akin to Old English bītan bite
First Known Use: 14th century



Definition of BIT

transitive verb
a :  to put a bit in the mouth of (a horse)
b :  to control as if with a bit
:  to form a bit on (a key)

First Known Use of BIT


Other Equestrian Terms

canter, cantle, curry, farrier, hunter, paddock, router, skirt, tack



Definition of BIT

:  a small quantity of food; especially :  a small delicacy
a :  a small piece or quantity of some material thing
b (1) :  a small coin
(2) :  a unit of value equal to 18 of a dollar
:  something small or unimportant of its kind: as
a :  a brief period :  while <wait a bit longer>
b :  an indefinite usually small degree, extent, or amount <a bit of a rascal> <every bit as powerful>
c (1) :  a small part usually with spoken lines in a theatrical performance
(2) :  a usually short theatrical routine
:  the aggregate of items, situations, or activities appropriate to a given style, genre, or role <rejected the whole bit about love-marriage-motherhood — Vance Packard>
a bit
:  somewhat, rather <the play was a bit dull>
a bit much
:  a little more than one wants to endure <finds his constant joking a bit much>
bit by bit
:  by degrees :  little by little <getting better bit by bit>
to bits
:  totally, thoroughly <thrilled to bits>

Origin of BIT

Middle English, from Old English bita; akin to Old English bītan bite
First Known Use: before 12th century



Definition of BIT

:  a unit of computer information equivalent to the result of a choice between two alternatives (as yes or no, on or off)
:  the physical representation of a bit by an electrical pulse, a magnetized spot, or a hole whose presence or absence indicates data

Origin of BIT

binary digit
First Known Use: 1948

Other Computer-Related Terms

adware, flash, kludge, phishing, recursive, router


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In communication and information theory, a unit of information equivalent to the result of a choice between only two possible alternatives, such as 1 and 0 in the binary code generally used in digital computers. It is also applied to a unit of memory corresponding to the ability to store the result of a choice between two alternatives. A byte consists of a string of eight consecutive bits and makes up the basic information processing unit of a computer. Because a byte includes only an amount of information equivalent to one letter or one symbol (e.g., a comma), the processing and storage capacities of computer hardware are usually given in kilobytes (1,024 bytes), megabytes (1,048,576 bytes), and even gigabytes (about 1 billion bytes) and terabytes (1 trillion bytes).

Variants of BIT

bit in full binary digit


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