bite

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

Other Words from bite

Verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for bite

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ditch the messiness that is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and make them into bite-sized muffins instead. Olivia Muenter, Woman's Day, 16 June 2022 Slice each roll into six bite-sized pieces and serve. Jonny Sun, The New Yorker, 15 June 2022 Or, if that were somehow impossible because of a prior legal agreement with Barr, then the committee should show the entire deposition rather than chopping it up into bite-sized bits. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 13 June 2022 Now, a smaller pool of viewers is split between several broadcast channels, cable channels and myriad digital platforms, many offering the public a chance to see the hearings in bite-sized clips. Jeremy Barr, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 The bite-sized fruit candies outranked M&M's, Snickers and Reese's Cups, according to 11 years of sales data from CandyStore.com. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 9 June 2022 Enjoying life’s frivolous pleasures, the U.K. drill favorite delivers a bite-sized summer anthem, fully equipped with a chant-able chorus and ear worm sample. Neena Rouhani, Billboard, 1 June 2022 Plus, the whole family can sneak a taste of the bite-sized goodness — there are enough cupcakes to go around! Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 18 May 2022 Read on for a bite-sized bumper crop of Portland dining news. oregonlive, 18 May 2022 See More

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.

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, pheídesthai "to spare, save, refrain from"

Noun

derivative of bite entry 1

Learn More About bite

Time Traveler for bite

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near bite

Bitcoin

bite

biteable

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Statistics for bite

Cite this Entry

“Bite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bite. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bite

Nglish: Translation of bite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bite for Arabic Speakers

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