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.

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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

The teen received treatment for the injuries which included an infection caused by the dog bites. al, "Teens allegedly attacked by K-9 unit suing Bel Air Mall, Allied Universal security company," 7 Aug. 2019 After the infamous bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, Luis Suarez was desperate for a move away from Liverpool in 2013, with Arsenal placing the incredibly cheeky bid of £40,000,001 in an attempt to trigger his release clause. SI.com, "4 Times Clubs Were Right to Deny Their Superstars’ Transfer Request," 2 Aug. 2019 Eating insects may be the next big trend in gourmet, sustainable food — but who’s going to take the first bite? Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Cricket chips? Ant caviar? O.C. Fair showcases the latest sustainable healthy food trend: Bugs," 31 July 2019 Tammy Malphurs says the teen was in waist-deep water at the time of the bite. CBS News, "2nd shark attack in three days at Florida beach known as world's "shark bite capital"," 30 July 2019 For both anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, symptoms typically start within two weeks after the bite. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "8 Tick-Borne Illnesses That Aren’t Lyme Disease," 26 July 2019 Sharks elicit outsized fear, even though the risk of a shark bite is infinitesimally small. Gavin Naylor, The Conversation, "Shark Week looms, but don’t panic," 25 July 2019 The first bite resulted in a throw-away loss at the hands of Gerrit Cole. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "‘We’re fine, there’s a lot of baseball left’: Athletics show mettle in road trip with postseason feel," 24 July 2019 The bite caused severe trauma and the veterinarian was taken to the hospital. cleveland.com, "Man says home intruders knocked him out, robbed him: University Heights police blotter," 17 July 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

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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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