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 3b(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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

Remove from pan and with a fork pull meat from bones and shred it, making generous bite-size pieces. Discard any bones. Nicole Sours Larson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Gourmet food on a budget," 23 Apr. 2018 Thoroughly clean the bite (and your hands) with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove a Tick the Right Way," 17 Apr. 2019 Unanimously, the highlight of the spring-flavored menu was the steelhead trout, which was prepared to a gorgeous salmon-pink color, surprising some guests at first bite. Eliseé Browchuk, Vogue, "Welcome to New York! Europe’s Most Promising Designers Gathered for a MatchesFashion.com-Hosted Dinner," 5 Apr. 2019 Some of his backstory will look familiar: streetwise Brooklyn kid is forced to attend a fancy prep school by his parents, doesn't fit in, yadda yadda yadda, spider-bite, hero. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," 14 Dec. 2018 But instead of disappearing in a few bites, this sultry mix of flavors is here to bless your brunette strands with a dash of rich auburn. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "The Chili Chocolate Hair-Color Trend Is the Prettiest Way for Brunettes to Go Red," 3 Oct. 2018 The energy of scorpios have a tendency of drawing people in, and you'll be hooked after the first bite of this dip (trust me, I'm obsessed). Spoon U, Teen Vogue, "Which Trader Joe's Dip You Should Eat, Based on Your Zodiac Sign," 4 Aug. 2018 There was no ejection at first bite, but referee Mills Lane disqualified Tyson after Bite No. 2. Sean Smyth, BostonGlobe.com, "Brad Marchand isn’t the only athlete who’s found weird ways to psych out opponents," 6 May 2018 Monaco’s royal twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, just took their first bite out of the big apple. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Princess Charlene of Monaco Took Her Royal Twins on a Whirlwind Trip to New York," 18 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bite

Dictionary Entries near bite

bitch-slap

bitchy

Bitcoin

bite

biteable

bite back

bitegmic

Statistics for bite

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bite

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on bite

What made you want to look up bite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!