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.

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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

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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 Slices of raw jalapeño and garlic bring oomph to each bite, and individual diners can decide for themselves just how much. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "A Pork Chop Ssam Recipe Perfect for Sharing," 16 Apr. 2021 Here, the wraps thankfully forgo lettuce, which can’t hold up to the heat of the grill, swapping it for shredded red cabbage and just enough tomato and cucumber to give each bite some crunch. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. Middle Eastern icon Old Jerusalem's sibling restaurant is spinning gorgeously creamy hummus and crisp falafel," 15 Apr. 2021 Rabies is spread through a bite or a scratch from an infected animal, including cats, raccoons, bats, foxes and groundhogs. Jacob Calvin Meyer, baltimoresun.com, "Rabid feral cat found in Ellicott City, Howard health department says," 14 Apr. 2021 Locally, though, Fletcher said Wednesday that the change is little more than a mosquito bite. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Landmark vaccination milestone arrives Thursday," 14 Apr. 2021 But after a bite, Morgan concluded that the flavor wasn’t as powerful. Los Angeles Times, "Why flights from Central America often have the enticing aroma of fried chicken," 14 Apr. 2021 Whitaker said the current—and the resulting upriver bite--was not a surprise to the anglers, who fish the lake regularly. Frank Sargeant, al, "Alabama Bass Trail teams turn up big catches at Lake Wheeler," 14 Apr. 2021 With a 24-hour take-out deli, travelers can get a great bite to eat at any hour at this Interstate 5 stop between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "These 10 great truck stops surprise travelers with everything from dog parks to bidets," 12 Apr. 2021 Whenever a nesting pigeon flies off to get a bite to eat, the laughingthrushes zip to her nest, hop around in it and poke at her unfertilized eggs with their beaks. Terry Demio, The Enquirer, "Han Solo, Vader and Luke are rare brothers who live their best lives at the Cincinnati Zoo," 10 Apr. 2021

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, pheídesthai "to spare, save, refrain from"

Noun

derivative of bite entry 1

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Time Traveler for bite

Time Traveler

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

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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 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for bite

bite

verb

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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on bite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bite

Nglish: Translation of bite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bite for Arabic Speakers

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