1

bite

verb \ ˈbīt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of bite

bit play \ˈbit\; bitten play \ˈbi-tᵊn\ also bit; biting play \ˈbī-tiŋ\
transitive verb
1 a : 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.
4 : corrode
5 a 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.

biter

play \ˈbī-tər\ noun
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
2 a : to suffer humiliation or defeat
b : to come to an end
bite the hand that feeds one
: to injure a benefactor maliciously

Examples of bite in a Sentence

  1. The hamster bit the child.

  2. She bit the cookie in half.

  3. Some people bite their nails when they feel nervous.

  4. A wild animal may bite if it is frightened.

  5. The patient had been bitten by a poisonous snake.

  6. The mosquitoes are biting tonight.

  7. Are the fish biting today?

Origin and Etymology of bite

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"

bite Synonyms

Synonyms
stink [slang], smell, suck [slang]
Antonyms
rock [slang], rule [slang]

2

bite

noun

Definition of bite

1 a : 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; especiallydentistry : occlusion 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
a : cheat, trick
b : sharper
4 : a wound made by biting
  • The bite became infected.
5 : the hold or grip by which friction (see friction 1b) is created or purchase (see 2purchase 3b(1)) is obtained
6 : a surface that creates friction or is brought into contact with another for the purpose of obtaining a hold
7 a : 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

Examples of bite in a Sentence

  1. He ate the candy bar in three quick bites.

  2. She gave her lip a gentle bite.

  3. The fisherman felt a bite at the end of his line and reeled in a fish.

  4. My teenage daughter wears a special device at night to correct her bite.

  5. Don't scratch that mosquito bite.

Recent Examples of bite from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of bite

derivative of 1bite


BITE Defined for English Language Learners

bite

verb

Definition of bite for English Language Learners

  • of a person or animal : 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

Definition of bite for English Language Learners

  • : an act of biting

  • : the way the upper and lower teeth come together

  • : the amount of food eaten with a bite


BITE Defined for Kids

1

bite

verb \ ˈbīt \

Definition of bite for Students

bit \ˈbit\; bitten \ˈbi-tᵊn\; biting \ˈbī-tiŋ\
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.

2

bite

noun

Definition of bite for Students

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.

Medical Dictionary

1

bite

verb \ ˈbīt \

medical Definition of bite

bit play \ˈbit\; bitten play \ˈbit-ᵊn\ also bit; biting play \ˈbīt-iŋ\
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

2

bite

noun

medical Definition of bite

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


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