bit·​ing ˈbī-tiŋ How to pronounce biting (audio)
: having the power to bite
a biting wind
especially : able to grip and impress deeply
a biting wit
bitingly adverb

Example Sentences

a biting wind that only the toughest football fans were willing to endure the biting comments by the pundits about the government's inaction
Recent Examples on the Web The track is a biting break-up anthem that raises a middle finger to crappy, unfaithful boyfriends while showing Karol and Shakira at their most unapologetic. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 24 Feb. 2023 He was known especially for his biting, cynical attitude and his witty, sometime combative banter with the audience. Jake Coyle, Fortune, 20 Feb. 2023 Credit: Netflix Over the course of four hours in the biting cold on location outside Prague, Felix Krammer as Paul and Albrecht Schuch as Kat acted out the scene, trousers around their ankles. CNN, 17 Feb. 2023 Rory McIlroy and LIV Golf lightning rod Patrick Reed at a recent driving-range run in showed his brilliant and biting wit. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Jan. 2023 Perhaps the most biting question came from allies: why does the law throw some of the U.S. Justin Worland, Time, 16 Jan. 2023 An example of this would be how biting nails may temporarily relieve a person of anxiety. Good Housekeeping, 6 Jan. 2023 An unstinting character study and a clear-eyed indictment of a system that ill serves patients and medical professionals alike, the miniseries overachieves by boasting a biting wit and a knee-buckling romance. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 28 Nov. 2022 Very bold and unisex, the lavender is strong and biting, the amber warm and comforting. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'biting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of biting was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near biting

Cite this Entry

“Biting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


bit·​ing ˈbīt-iŋ How to pronounce biting (audio)
: causing bodily or mental distress : sharp, cutting
biting wit
a biting cold

More from Merriam-Webster on biting

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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