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.
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 biter (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for bite

Synonyms: Verb

smell, stink, suck [slang]

Synonyms: Noun

acerbity, acidity, acidness, acridity, acridness, acrimoniousness, acrimony, acuteness, asperity, bitterness, edge, harshness, keenness, poignance, poignancy, pungency, roughness, sharpness, tartness

Antonyms: Verb

rock [slang], rule [slang]

Antonyms: Noun

mildness, softness

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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

Vendor portions vary from bite-size to large, so the wide range of entree pricing, from $3 to $13, can be confusing for first-time visitors. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: A tasting tour under Carlsbad’s windmill," 12 Sep. 2019 There’s much to unpack, so in bite-size portions: Receivers: Isaiah Hodgins was prominent for the Beavers, but the rest of the receiving corps was largely missing in action. oregonlive, "Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith says second-half offense not about play-calling, but details, route-running, and catching the ball," 10 Sep. 2019 Is the subject matter too difficult to explain in bite-size bits? Mike Oliver | Moliver@al.com, al, "Hi I’m Louie. Are you Lewy? A proposal for a Disney duck," 7 Sep. 2019 Note: To make your own croutons, take slightly stale bread and tear into bite-size pieces. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "“East Bay Cooks” celebrates culinary diversity of Oakland, Berkeley and other cities," 6 Sep. 2019 Use two forks to shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Four perfect tacos featuring fish, turkey, or mojo pork," 4 Sep. 2019 Hungarian Goulash Makes 8 or more servings 1 medium onion, chopped 3 tablespoons paprika 5 to 6 Beaver Dam peppers (divided) 5 golden potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks Slice peppers and remove seeds and membrane. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A little-known heirloom pepper has its own festival in Beaver Dam, where it arrived in America long ago," 3 Sep. 2019 Remove the oregano leaves from the remaining sprig, sprinkle them over 4 zucchini halves and slice those into bite-size portions. ExpressNews.com, "Sunday Recipe: Roast Chicken Supper," 28 Aug. 2019 Dessert was a Boston cream pie in the shape of a bite-size Twinkie on a wooden stick. Vogue, "Thom Browne and FarFetch Host a Fantastical Seersucker Picnic at NeueHouse," 23 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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Learn More about bite

Dictionary Entries near bite

bitch-slap

bitchy

Bitcoin

bite

biteable

bite back

bitegmic

Statistics for bite

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bite

Spanish Central: Translation of bite

Nglish: Translation of bite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bite for Arabic Speakers

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