bite

verb
\ ˈbīt How to pronounce bite (audio) \
bit\ ˈbit How to pronounce bit (audio) \; bitten\ ˈbi-​tᵊn How to pronounce bitten (audio) \ also bit; biting\ ˈbī-​tiŋ How to pronounce biting (audio) \

Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to seize especially with teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound was bitten by a dog
b : to wound, pierce, or sting especially with a fang or a proboscis getting bitten by mosquitoes a snake bit his leg
2 : to cut or pierce with or as if with an edged weapon bit by his sword
3 : to cause sharp pain or stinging discomfort to the sleet biting our faces
4 : to take hold of help the pliers bite the part
5 archaic : to take in : cheat

intransitive verb

1 : to bite or have the habit of biting something This cat bites.
2 of a weapon or tool : to cut, pierce, or take hold bites down on the part The anchor bites into the ocean floor.
3 : to cause irritation or smarting Her criticisms really bite.
5a of fish : to take a bait The fish aren't biting today.
b : to respond so as to be caught (as by a trick)
c : to accept a suggestion or an offer offered them a deal but they wouldn't bite
6 : to take or maintain a firm hold The anchor didn't bite well.
7 : to produce a negative effect the recession began to bite
8 chiefly US slang, sometimes vulgar : to be objectionable or extremely bad in quality : stink, suck This song bites.
9 US slang : to imitate or copy (someone or something) especially without permission There are lots of rappers biting his style—but there's only one James Brown!Spin
bite off more than one can chew
: to undertake more than one can handle
bite one's tongue
: to hold back (as from a reluctance to offend) a remark one would like to make
bite the bullet
: to enter with resignation upon a difficult or distressing course of action
bite the dust
1 : to fall dead especially in battle
2a : to suffer humiliation or defeat
b : to come to an end
bite the hand that feeds one
: to injure a benefactor maliciously

bite

noun
plural bites

Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of biting took a bite of the sandwich felt a bite at the end of the fishing line
b : the manner of biting especially, dentistry : occlusion sense 1b wore braces to correct her bite
2 : food: such as
a : the amount of food taken at a bite : morsel couldn't eat another bite
b : a small amount of food : snack have a bite to eat
3 archaic
4 : a wound made by biting The bite became infected.
5 : the hold or grip by which friction (see friction sense 1b) is created or purchase (see purchase entry 2 sense 3a(1)) is obtained
6 : a surface that creates friction or is brought into contact with another for the purpose of obtaining a hold
7a : a keen incisive quality a writing style that lacks bite a satirical bite
b : a sharp penetrating effect The soup has a peppery bite. the bite of the wind on our cheeks
8 etching : a single exposure of an etcher's plate to the corrosive action of acid
9 : an amount (as of money) taken usually in one operation for one purpose : share a 15 percent bite for his manager
10 : sound bite a 10-second news bite
11 : an expression of interest in something being offered In seven previous days, the seller didn't get a single bite [=no one expressed interest in buying what was offered].— Jerry Garrett et al.

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Other Words from bite

Verb

biter \ ˈbī-​tər How to pronounce biter (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bite

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of bite in a Sentence

Verb The hamster bit the child. She bit the cookie in half. Some people bite their nails when they feel nervous. A wild animal may bite if it is frightened. The patient had been bitten by a poisonous snake. The mosquitoes are biting tonight. Are the fish biting today? Noun He ate the candy bar in three quick bites. She gave her lip a gentle bite. The fisherman felt a bite at the end of his line and reeled in a fish. My teenage daughter wears a special device at night to correct her bite. Don't scratch that mosquito bite.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some characters are perfectly primed to scare modern audiences, while others have lost their bite. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Future of Universal's Monsters Is Coming Into Focus," 14 Sep. 2019 The rabies virus lives in in the saliva of infected animals and can be transmitted through a bite, a scratch, or by a lick in an open wound, the eye or the mouth according to the Carroll County Health Department. Iris Katz, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Pet Wise: Rabies represents a continued threat in Carroll County, even in 2019," 13 Sep. 2019 The novel bombards its reader with info-bites — funny, sad, thoughtful, angry, confused, apocalyptic — with the ceaseless regularity of a combustion engine. Scott Bradfield, Washington Post, "Reading ‘Ducks, Newburyport’ is mentally taxing — and physically exhausting," 11 Sep. 2019 To crisp up raw scallions and soften their bite, Molina puts them in a small salad spinner and covers with ice-cold water. Los Angeles Times, "Matt Molina of Hippo in Highland Park makes perfect green beans," 11 Sep. 2019 Enjoy light bites, beer tastings, build-your-own-bratwurst sandwich station and more. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "2019 Oktoberfest events around the Bay Area," 9 Sep. 2019 But the condition has also been known to follow insect bites, sun exposure, tattoos, and infections, among other things. Amber Brenza, Health.com, "Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi Reveals Rare Skin Condition in Nude Photo Shoot," 6 Sep. 2019 Fleas capable of transmitting the disease usually do so in the course of biting; less commonly, the Plague organisms are transmitted when scratching the flea feces into bites or wounds. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Why Do Prairie Dogs in Colorado Have the Plague?," 20 Aug. 2019 But Lyford's exquisite bites, like his BLT with house-pickled onions, have turned me. Kim Pierce, Dallas News, "Our 9 favorite local farm-to-table finds, from butter cakes to tamales," 19 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bite

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bite

Verb

Middle English biten, going back to Old English bītan, going back to Germanic *bītan- (whence Old Saxon bītan "to bite, cut into," Old High German bīzan, Old Norse bíta, Gothic beitan), going back to Indo-European *bhei̯d- "split," whence also Latin findere "to split, cleave, divide" (from a derivative *bhi-n-d-), Sanskrit abhet "has split," bhinátti "(s/he) splits" and perhaps Greek pheídomai, pheidésthai "to spare, save, refrain from"

Noun

derivative of bite entry 1

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Statistics for bite

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for bite

The first known use of bite was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bite

bite

verb
How to pronounce bite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to press down on or cut into (someone or something) with the teeth
of an insect or snake : to wound (someone) by pushing a stinger, fang, etc., into the skin
: to grab and hold something without slipping

bite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of biting
: the way the upper and lower teeth come together
: the amount of food eaten with a bite

bite

verb
\ ˈbīt How to pronounce bite (audio) \
bit\ ˈbit \; bitten\ ˈbi-​tᵊn \; biting\ ˈbī-​tiŋ \

Kids Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to seize, grip, or cut into with or as if with teeth bite an apple
2 : to wound or sting usually with a stinger or fang A mosquito bit me.
3 : to take a bait The fish are biting.

bite

noun

Kids Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of seizing or cutting into with the teeth three quick bites
2 : a wound made by biting : sting a mosquito bite
3 : the amount of food taken at a bite I just had a bite of dessert.
4 : a sharp or biting sensation The pepper has a bite.

bite

verb
\ ˈbīt How to pronounce bite (audio) \
bit\ ˈbit How to pronounce bit (audio) \; bitten\ ˈbit-​ᵊn How to pronounce bitten (audio) \ also bit; biting\ ˈbīt-​iŋ How to pronounce biting (audio) \

Medical Definition of bite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to seize especially with teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound
2 : to wound, pierce, or sting especially with a fang or a proboscis

intransitive verb

: to bite or have the habit of biting something

bite

noun

Medical Definition of bite (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or manner of biting especially : occlusion sense 2a
2 : a wound made by biting

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More from Merriam-Webster on bite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bite

Spanish Central: Translation of bite

Nglish: Translation of bite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bite

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