Definition of bite in English:

bite

verbbit, bitten

[with object]
  • 1(of a person or animal) use the teeth to cut into something.

    ‘she was biting a slice of bread’
    ‘the woman's arm was bitten off by an alligator’
    no object ‘Rosa bit into a cupcake’
    ‘babies learn to bite and chew about halfway through their first year’
    • ‘A British woman whose arm was bitten off by a lion when she reached through the bars of an enclosure at an animal sanctuary in Spain was last night recovering from emergency surgery.’
    • ‘You can see from another photo the tail missing from one of the seatrout, due to it being bitten off by a seal or a small whale.’
    • ‘As she lay unconscious, part of her nose, her mouth and chin were bitten off by her Labrador-cross dog, Tania.’
    • ‘Well, they're not crunchy sort of teeth, they're not the sort of teeth for biting some animal with great big bones, so we suspect that they are mostly fish feeders.’
    • ‘He seemed to eat the liquid as though it were meat, biting it and chewing, then swallowing.’
    • ‘He also specifies the height at which the seven photographs of a baby biting its toes in his Croque Mort single installation must be hung.’
    • ‘You lose a couple of teeth trying to bite it open and then you are forced to admit your food will just have to remain unspiced.’
    • ‘She blushed after realizing how foolish she must look and chewed what she had before biting another piece.’
    • ‘Never put rocks in the feed trough to slow down a greedy eater as this could cause a fracture tooth if the horse bites a rock.’
    • ‘Two months later, one of Rachel's new front teeth ‘sheared off’ as she was biting a slice of bread.’
    • ‘She looked at him, biting a piece of the pop tart off.’
    • ‘Raine glanced up, biting another piece of his French toast.’
    • ‘Absently biting my pen, I silently read over what I'd just written.’
    • ‘I'm sitting here in social studies biting my pencil like a hamster.’
    • ‘Tope are mainly fish eaters, hunting small whiting, cod, mackerel and flatfish which they chase down and disable by biting chunks out of the fish.’
    • ‘Consumers can't wait to bite into them because the little extra cooking required to finish them off makes for a better-tasting bagel.’
    • ‘My hope is that a consumer, when they bite into them, will combine their personal memory with that peach.’
    • ‘If sharks bite to figure out the nature of various objects, then why do they usually spit out people rather than adding them to the menu?’
    • ‘Paul and his father had been very close for years until that day at the beach when a shark had bitten off Paul's leg.’
    • ‘The next time your all set to bite into a succulent Fish, think Yana Gupta.’
    sink one's teeth into, chew, munch, crunch, champ, tear at, masticate, eat
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Use the teeth in order to inflict injury on.
      ‘he was chased and bitten by a police dog’
      ‘she had bitten, scratched, and kicked her assailant’
      no object ‘it is not unusual for a dog to bite at its owner's hand’
      • ‘One officer suffered minor injuries after being bitten on the hand.’
      • ‘It is very important to check you are up to date with your tetanus jabs if your skin is broken in an injury or you are bitten.’
      • ‘William sustained serious head and body injuries and Chang was bitten on his arms.’
      • ‘People like him have never been rammed by a stolen vehicle, never been bitten and scratched by an injecting heroin addict, never had to confront a man armed with a gun or knife.’
      • ‘He repeated the advice that the only members of the general public who might be at risk from the infection are those who handle bats or who have been bitten or scratched by them.’
      • ‘My first horse was a little pinto pony named King, and he did from everything from chase us around and bite us to carry us down the road on his back in carts.’
      • ‘Patients with cat scratch disease are likely to own a cat aged 12 months or younger, to have been scratched or bitten by a kitten, and to have at least one kitten infested with fleas.’
      • ‘Quite simply, there will be a history of having been bitten or scratched by the family moggy, and the inoculation site will drain into the affected lymph glands.’
      • ‘She told me that, without any warning, the cat had jumped on her, scratched her, and bitten her in the right arm.’
      • ‘She had a history of contact with both dogs and cats; however, she did not recall being bitten or scratched.’
      • ‘Cat-scratch disease is an infection that occurs after your child was scratched or bitten by a cat.’
      • ‘Data from the East Kalimantan health office shows there were at least 11 cases of residents bitten by dogs recorded between July and August.’
      • ‘The bloke driving said he remembers somebody there biting a man on the arm resulting in getting his teeth knocked out to prevent it happening again.’
      • ‘Then the bear bit his leg, sinking a tooth all the way to the femur bone.’
      • ‘A desperate dad who had a fox shot after it allegedly bit his baby is pleading with an animal rights activist to leave his family alone.’
      • ‘The idea was shelved when the foxes kept biting their handlers and eventually chewed through their enclosures and escaped.’
      • ‘He learns that there are times when it is right to bite a man.’
      • ‘In a string of three separate incidents in July, four Scouts and two adult campers were scratched and bitten at New Mexico's Philmont Scout Ranch by black bears starving due to drought.’
      • ‘A local hunter put the dog down but it was thought to have bitten at least 12 children and adults.’
      • ‘A puppy, illegally imported from Morocco last month, is reported to have bitten at least nine people in the Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne regions of France before it died.’
    2. 1.2(of a snake, insect, or spider) wound with fangs, pincers, or a sting.
      ‘while on holiday she was bitten by an adder’
      • ‘All over the world, people come in with wounds and think they've been bitten by a spider.’
      • ‘She tried to weed the garden but got bitten by a spider.’
      • ‘I got bitten by another spider last night while I was asleep.’
      • ‘The pedigree puppy, which cost $800, is believed to have been bitten by a spider, and has a rash around her neck.’
      • ‘My friends at the BBC report that a man was taken to hospital after being bitten by a spider going about its business in the banana section at Sainsbury's.’
      • ‘He had been bitten by a spider in Brazil, which probably lowered his immunity, and further tests showed that he was HIV positive.’
      • ‘If I emerge from the next week or so without being bitten by any spiders lurking in my mess, I'll start posting more frequently again.’
      • ‘It has led, among other things, to his being bitten by a snake and several times by scorpions.’
      • ‘People who have been bitten by a snake are afraid of garden hoses at first glance.’
      • ‘He was a great student, especially after he had his leg amputated from being bitten by a snake in Africa on holiday.’
      • ‘Once bitten by a snake you feel suspicious even when you see a piece of rope.’
      • ‘They learned about the various types of snake, what snakes were sacred to which gods, and how to treat people who were bitten by snakes.’
      • ‘When you've been bitten by a snake, you're leery of a lizard.’
      • ‘Both apparently got bitten by snakes while fleeing through the sand dunes at Pearly Beach last month, and died.’
      • ‘The most important role played by the snake charmers is in treating people who have been bitten by snakes.’
      • ‘The sun is more dangerous too so inevitably some people got sunburned or got sunstroke; others were bitten by strange insects - there were lots of bugs!’
      • ‘The female mosquitoes become the bloodsuckers, and they use their long proboscis to bite other animals and feed on their blood.’
      • ‘We gave no thought to snakes although any one of us could have been bitten at least a dozen times as we sauntered through the bramble.’
      • ‘The Krait bite is much less obvious and it is very difficult for people to know that they have been bitten at all.’
      • ‘During the chase Dirawong was bitten on the head by the snake who, when Dirawong had stopped to eat herbs, coiled itself around in the river and formed Snake Island.’
      puncture, prick, pierce, sting, wound
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3no object (of an acid) corrode a surface.
      ‘chemicals have bitten deep into the stone’
      • ‘Square paintings divided into apparently geometric blocks, the stripped areas retaining the ghostly residue of the oils where they have bitten into the canvas.’
      • ‘It was impossible not to wince, though, when the caustic chemical bit into open flesh.’
      • ‘The acid bites around the particles, creating tooth, or a collection of little marks in the plate that hold ink.’
      corrode, eat into, eat away at, wear away, burn, burn into, etch, erode, dissolve, destroy, consume
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4no object (of a fish) take the bait or lure on the end of a fishing line into the mouth.
      ‘I marvel at how easily and eagerly a chub will bite’
      • ‘We were fishing, and all of the fish were biting on one side of the boat.’
      • ‘Organiser Ray Collins is hoping the amazing run of fine weather doesn't come to an end - even if a spot of rain would get the fish biting.’
      • ‘When the fish aren't biting, I want to listen to her tell me what makes her happy and what makes her cry.’
      • ‘He'll get away from it briefly when it's goose season in his native Nebraska or when the fish are biting somewhere.’
      • ‘Bowing towards the water, I indicated that the horses might like to drink and that the fish were not biting anyway.’
      • ‘But if I had to, I would go fishing even if the fish weren't biting.’
      • ‘Being evening, the fish were biting beautifully, and he caught three decent-sized trout in only about half of an hour.’
      • ‘Which is why spots where the fish are biting still get crowded.’
      • ‘Frank told everyone at dinner that he will try to put people ashore at 8 in the morning, unless the fish are biting.’
      • ‘His ultimate goal is to get as many fish biting on his line as he can.’
      • ‘Interestingly, fish were biting and many were caught in river and sea.’
      • ‘It was difficult but at the same time it was like being a fisherman who goes out and the fish are biting and you have the thrill and excitement that keeps you going.’
      • ‘So now here I am, with no fish biting, a rain storm on its way, and my foot hurts.’
      • ‘They will attack the bait and confuse you into thinking that a ‘proper’ fish is biting.’
      • ‘I recommend you have a day visiting this world famous Space Centre even if the fish are biting madly.’
      • ‘Even the other fish were not biting so well, and I had put down my rod for a moment to talk to Belinda and to have a cold beer.’
      • ‘It was late in the afternoon and the water in the pool was warm and the fish were biting well.’
      • ‘Now is the time to launch the real bait over the side of the boat and see how the fish are biting.’
      • ‘There was no need for a quiver tip as the fish would often bite so violently that there was a danger of the rod being pulled in at times.’
      • ‘Although the first thought is generally to catch the bass biting at the very onset of spring or the blues running in autumn.’
    5. 1.5informal no object Be persuaded to accept a deal or offer.
      ‘a hundred or so retailers should bite’
      • ‘If Arafat wouldn't bite when Barak offered him the whole cake, the reasoning goes, then that must not have been what he was interested in in the first place.’
      • ‘If retailers bite, licensing could feasibly extend anywhere that makes sense for the brand's lifestyle positioning.’
      • ‘The Yanks' rightfielder wasn't biting at Araton's line of reasoning.’
      • ‘No matter how tempting customized products may sound, consumers don't always bite when it comes to buying them online.’
      • ‘AMD's revival of the concept targets a new audience, one more likely to bite than Western consumers.’
      • ‘Despite efforts on the business end, consumers just didn't bite.’
      • ‘I keep getting subscription invitations from Walrus magazine, and got one from Geist too, but I haven't bitten yet.’
      • ‘But the reporter had bitten, says Mike, hook, line and sinker.’
      • ‘A dangling carrot for public consumption… assuming we get the opportunity to bite before it's snatched away.’
      • ‘Then low ball every doctor in the area until some physician or physician group bites.’
      • ‘Given this setup - and it's typical in energy partnerships - why would any investor bite?’
      accept, go for it, agree, respond
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6informal Annoy or worry.
      ‘what's biting you today?’
      • ‘What's biting you today?’
      • ‘These subtle requirements are the things that bite us.’
      annoy, irritate, infuriate, anger, incense, inflame, enrage, irk, chagrin, exasperate, madden, pique, provoke, nettle, disturb, upset, perturb, discompose, put out
      View synonyms
  • 2no object (of a tool, tyre, boot, etc.) grip or take hold on a surface.

    ‘once on the slab, my boots failed to bite’
    • ‘The technique to going quick in one of these jiggers is to leave the braking as late as possible, and enter the corner under brakes, so that the front tyres are biting.’
    • ‘Our tools bit like the teeth of shark, as net after net was left shredded at our feet.’
    • ‘He had an old, discoloured ball, just the sort that's ready to grip and bite, in his hand.’
    • ‘With a gasp, Guiromélans lands on the blades, feeling their edges bite into the soles of his boots.’
    • ‘Studded tyres, usually needed to bite through the ice and snow, were never used.’
    • ‘The chewed-up area of the frame at this point will not provide a good surface for the new strike plate screws to bite into.’
    • ‘Then like a conventional skewer you spin the small end till she starts to bite, nip the lever down and you've got a solid under carriage, no tools!’
    • ‘First he got the saw to bite into it one way and then another so he could make a sort of divot.’
    • ‘Start slow with this drill - you want to feel the edge biting into the snow and you want to feel controlled.’
    • ‘The truck shuddered as the rear wheels spun wildly on the asphalt, then leapt forwards as the tires bit into the road.’
    • ‘We practise sliding downhill with skis at 90 degrees to the fall line, edges biting deep.’
    • ‘Once in the shelter of the bay, the skipping engine bites deeper into the calmer waters, and the ship picks up speed.’
    grip, hold, get a purchase
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of an object) press into a part of the body, causing pain.
      ‘the handcuffs bit into his wrists’
      • ‘The metal stirrup bit into the arch of my foot, but I pressed against it even harder.’
      • ‘He pressed it forward slightly and Adam winced as it bit into the tender flesh on his throat.’
      • ‘I grabbed her hand to pull her up, wincing as her numerous rings bit into my fingers.’
      • ‘She tied her up tight, too, and the ropes bit into her wrists and ankles.’
      • ‘Rilleta clenched her hands on the reins until they bit into her hands and her mount stepped, shaking her head.’
      • ‘Wincing as the tiny thorns bit into his arms, he cursed his eternal lack of foresight and short sleeves.’
      • ‘Metal collars bit into the mass' neck, crusted blood flaking to the scales below.’
      • ‘The steel bandings bit into his hands, and he slid down its length, crashing into the cart below.’
      • ‘It exploded in a mass of fiery shards that bit into him, but he was unstoppable.’
      • ‘Barth clung to his bit of splintered wood, it bit into his arms and fingers, his eyes were open but turned inwards.’
      • ‘She tried to cry out as twisted metal and glass bit into her back, but his weight was suffocating.’
      • ‘The metal was biting at his wrist and the wires stuck to him itched.’
      • ‘Viro continued to swim madly for the near riverbank, the twine biting deep into his wrists.’
    2. 2.2Cause emotional pain.
      ‘Cheryl's betrayal had bitten deep’
      • ‘These are staggering figures and have bitten deep into the British soul.’
      • ‘Then the dreams became too troublesome, the regrets began to bite too deep, too bitterly.’
      • ‘Tim Lambert, normally writing on science, brings a sad photograph and a homely family touch which bites almost deeper than the horror.’
      • ‘Those words cut the deepest, biting into him and holding fast.’
    3. 2.3(of a policy or situation) take effect, with unpleasant consequences.
      ‘the cuts in art education were starting to bite’
      • ‘The fuel crisis is already biting in this household.’
      • ‘For example, earlier in 2000, unexpected quantities of Pentium IIs made their appearance when other shortages were biting.’
      • ‘Because they are New York too - except that there the economic crisis is biting, and shopping is something other people do.’
      • ‘The deeper the policies bite, the greater the casualties.’
      • ‘There has been a gradual reduction in the size of the fishing industry in the UK as EU fishing policies have bitten hard over the last decade.’
      • ‘One in 10 primary school pupils could be taught by unqualified teachers from September as severe staff shortages bite.’
      • ‘As the full effects of government policy begin to bite, however, there are signs that the political backlash feared in ruling circles is developing.’
      • ‘There may be situations, your Honour, where that section may bite to ensnare a situation which at first glance one would think would not be covered.’
      • ‘Now we have a stark reminder that this law is serious, that it can bite, and that its effect is undeniably discriminatory.’
      • ‘However, he said the anticipated knock-on effect of the hunting ban would not bite for a few years.’
      • ‘The pressures were starting to bite even before the long term effects of foot and mouth spread into the sector.’
      • ‘The education funding crisis is set to bite again in September as a survey reveals one in five schools have spent their cash reserves.’
      • ‘Reality has bitten with a vengeance for Australia's dominant telecommunications company.’
      • ‘It took a while for the effects to kick in but, when they did, they bit deep.’
      • ‘Lately, however, Charlotte had noticed that her absences from school were biting deeper into her grades than she had previously thought.’
      • ‘For other local institutions, including the Women's Museum, budget cuts will doubtlessly bite deeper.’
      • ‘It's not clear that the war will bite deep enough to lead to petrol rationing, but this may be a factor in your thinking.’
      • ‘As the effects of the drought were biting deeper, production at Blinman was also slowed down.’
      • ‘Thousands of manufacturing jobs are at risk over the next six months as the economic slowdown continues to bite deeper.’
      • ‘The 19th cent. saw the British merchant navy at its strongest before international competition had bitten deep.’
      take effect, have an effect, be effective, be efficacious, work, function, act, have results, take hold
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4North American informal Be very bad, unpleasant, or unfortunate.
      ‘it bites that your mom won't let you go’
      • ‘I am trying so hard and it bites that I can't really get to the gym consistently.’
      • ‘It bites that hockey-loving kids are denied their seasonal TV fix.’
      • ‘If it's not fun then it just bites...right?’
      • ‘It was so disappointing to lose the way we did because we worked as hard as we possibly can and when we come away with nothing it really does bite.’

noun

  • 1An act of biting something in order to eat it.

    ‘Stephen ate a hot dog in three big bites’
    • ‘I held one out in my hand and the donkey ate it in big bites.’
    • ‘He runs his hand through his hair before eating his piece in two bites.’
    • ‘He eats the piece voraciously in several huge bites dropping the remainder.’
    • ‘She pulled the meat into pieces with her fingers and ate it in little bites.’
    • ‘But the pizza came so I only got bits and pieces of the story in between bites.’
    • ‘A few well aimed bites and the bag is shredded, the catnip is everywhere, and you have a wonderful mess to sweep up.’
    • ‘Gujarati gourmet cuisine is not something I've ever tried before, but after the first bite of the fine food at Swad's restaurant I was hooked.’
    • ‘He eats his food in small bites, but with manic speed.’
    • ‘Hungry, tired, was all Rei could say in between bites of food.’
    • ‘She chattered between bites of food about the most random things.’
    • ‘The two of them ate in silence for a minute or two, and Nora was quite aware of the gazes he was casually shooting over at her in between bites of food.’
    • ‘After two bites of her fish, Marsha commented that it had a strange taste.’
    • ‘Another bite reveals the earthy flavours of the Swiss Chard leaves, followed by a piece of crunchy apple.’
    • ‘And again, after three bites (which effectively finishes the burrito), I tasted no extra onions.’
    • ‘After two bites of anything, one is eating out of rote, obligation, or need for fuel.’
    • ‘I left the cobbler alone after three bites and ate a handful of hush puppies for dessert.’
    • ‘It looks good from the outside, but a firm bite reveals a cold and gooey center.’
    mouthful, piece, morsel, bit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A wound inflicted by an animal's or a person's teeth.
      ‘Percy's dog had given her a nasty bite’
      • ‘Deep puncture wounds from animal bites become morbid if not promptly tended and closely followed.’
      • ‘Not only can rats inflict a nasty bite, they are associated with disease.’
      • ‘If the wound was caused by an animal bite, you should report it to the county public health department.’
      • ‘The disease is spread by the bites of infected animals.’
      • ‘Rabies is an invariably fatal viral disease caused by the bite of an infected animal, usually a dog.’
      • ‘While many bites occur when an animal is unleashed and away from home, the most common scenario for an attack features a dog running loose on its own property.’
      • ‘Any animal bites - even those that don't involve rabies - can lead to infections and other medical problems.’
      • ‘Domestic pets are the source of most non-insect animal bites.’
      • ‘Almost one half of all dog bites involve an animal owned by the victim's family or neighbors.’
      • ‘Any bite from an animal, particularly dog, cat, monkey or bat, should be treated as a possible rabies risk.’
      • ‘Infections may result from animal or human bites to the hand, but steps can be taken to minimize the chance of that occurring.’
      • ‘Human beings, on the other hand, have the foulest mouths in the animal kingdom and their bites are always septic.’
      • ‘Animal and human bites can be treated most effectively with amoxicillin-clavulanate.’
      • ‘If an animal bites or is vicious it is put to sleep so why let any convicted murderer roam our streets?’
      • ‘The keepers are warning people not to play with the animal if they see it, as it has sharp canine teeth that can inflict serious bites.’
      • ‘Wash any animal bites or scratches with soap and water and see a doctor if the wound seems serious.’
      • ‘They have short, sharp teeth but their bite can barely puncture human skin.’
      • ‘Only a fifth of recent cases had a story of an animal bite and in some of these the infection occurred abroad.’
      • ‘The gator pulled her under water and inflicted severe bites on her arms, legs and midsection.’
      • ‘Snappers strike viciously when lifted from water or teased and can inflict a serious bite.’
      nip, snap, chew, munch, nibble, gnaw
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A wound inflicted by a snake, insect, or spider.
      ‘my legs were covered in mosquito bites’
      • ‘Check your children for ticks, insect bites and allergic reactions.’
      • ‘All were covered with insect bites, were underfed, and three had malaria.’
      • ‘I woke up to discover I am covered with mosquito bites from head to toe, from sleeping with at D's house with the windows open.’
      • ‘Some people were covered in mosquito bites from sheltering in the trees overnight.’
      • ‘The swamps are infested with poisonous snakes and fearsome insects with bites so strong they will either kill a man or drive him mad.’
      • ‘An insect bite isn't an unreasonable wound to suffer, after the rough three weeks they've all gone through.’
      • ‘She said the temperatures were above 100F, the soldiers were covered in mosquito bites and had no electricity or clean water.’
      • ‘Both victims' symptoms point to some sort of venomous reaction, possibly from a snake or spider bite.’
      • ‘Just as important as malaria prophylaxis is avoiding mosquito bites with insect repellents, impregnated mosquito nets, and suitable clothing.’
      • ‘The child, half naked, was covered n mosquito bites.’
      • ‘Aardvarks are covered with thick pinkish-grey skin that protects them from insect bites and may even save them from predators.’
      • ‘A team of Italian doctors has recently developed a new treatment for leishmaniasis, a skin disease contracted through insect bites.’
      • ‘In the field they carry a medical kit which includes morphine, antibiotics, diarrhoea pills, field dressings and antihistamines for insect bites or allergies.’
      • ‘I find that every time I have an insect bite, the itch turns into a lump and the lump stays although I can't causally link the lumps with only insect bites.’
      • ‘Summer means hay fever, insect bites and sunburn.’
      • ‘By this time he was suffering from insect bites - the prison was infested with them - that were turning septic.’
      • ‘Individual sores or insect bites can be dabbed directly with lavender oil.’
      • ‘When we visited this centre I pointed out the possibility of dry bites by venomous snakes.’
      • ‘The street here is quiet, but our kid is especially sensitive to insect bites.’
      • ‘They use their ability to produce venom to defend them against predators and with their large fangs they are able to deliver a nasty bite.’
      puncture, prick, sting, wound
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3An instance of bait being taken by a fish.
      ‘by four o'clock he still hadn't had a single bite’
      • ‘The only odd thing about fishing for orfe in very cold conditions with bottom baits is the bites.’
      • ‘I fished on for some thirty minutes without a bite then changed over to lobworm, still no success.’
      • ‘Most big-game fish bites come one at a time and so it is normal for everyone to take their turn in trying to catch a fish, which translates into taking it in turns to deal with a bite.’
      • ‘With all our sub-surface fishing the bites had to be ‘sensed’ as much as seen or felt.’
      • ‘All the fish gave really violent bites and virtually hooked themselves.’
      • ‘It's very strong, has little stretch and helps to magnify the bites even from small fish.’
      • ‘Thus line can be given if it is pulled by swings of the boat and sudden bites from taking fish.’
      • ‘Persevere with the worm for an hour or so and if no bites are forthcoming then start experimenting with bait.’
      • ‘The fish were aggressive, and the bite was on spinnerbaits, a personal favorite.’
      • ‘This way you can fish the lift method, but minimise false bites caused by fish bumping against too vertical a line.’
      • ‘The tackle had performed well and had converted every bite into a fish on the bank.’
      • ‘I started off fishing 20 ft out and had no bites for the first hour.’
      • ‘Quite exciting fishing it was, the bites really slamming the rods down.’
      • ‘It took a couple of days to get the tench interested in the bait but on the third morning I finally got a bite and landed a 4lb female.’
      • ‘Huss bites almost feel like the fish are knocking on the door.’
      • ‘Lifting the rod from its rest, as guided by Dave, he pointed the tip at the fish and waited for the bite to develop.’
      • ‘At exactly the same time we both had a bite and we both hooked good fish.’
      • ‘Baiting with a big chunk of meat I fished on for half an hour or so without a bite.’
      • ‘When the fish are in a real frenzy and I am getting a lot of line bites, I will often wait for the rod top to go round before lifting the rod.’
      • ‘We drifting around for a bit, moving from spot to spot trying to find some poor fish that would be stumped by our dying worms and take a bigger bite than just a nibble.’
      bite, gnaw, peck, taste
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    4. 1.4Dentistry The bringing together of the teeth so that the jaws are closed.
      • ‘One of the more important aspects of mandibular reduction is to seat the occlusion or bite, as it existed before the accident.’
      • ‘To detect tooth decay and oral cancer, check your bite and determine if you have problems such as grinding your teeth or problems with your jaw joint.’
      • ‘As your child grows older, you may be concerned about his or her bite and the straightness of his or her teeth.’
      • ‘As that happens, the dental splint is adjusted to maintain the perfect bite.’
    5. 1.5Dentistry An imprint of the position of the teeth when the jaws are closed, made in a plastic material.
      • ‘The authors present a computer vision technique for the acquisition and processing of 3-D images of the profile of wax dental imprints in the automation of diagnosis in orthodontics.’
      • ‘A double impression 'bite' is made, allowing both the shape of the teeth to be cast and the occlusion to be fixed.’
      • ‘The wax bite is removed and chilled for a moment in cold water.’
  • 2A piece cut off by biting.

    ‘Robyn took a large bite out of her sandwich’
    • ‘Lady Hammer smiled, taking a bite from her own piece of the sweet bread.’
    • ‘She broke the bread in half, replacing the bigger portion to the tray and took a bite of the piece she held.’
    • ‘I glared at her while taking a bite of the scrumptious piece of buttered and toasted bread.’
    • ‘Old people bend over the boxes of fruit at a corner deli, squeezing each piece before making a selection, taking a bite from a pear and spitting it out.’
    • ‘Often all she would eat in a day was a few bites of some chips.’
    • ‘He picked up a piece of toast and took a deliberate bite.’
    • ‘I asked, grabbing a piece of toast and taking a satisfying bite.’
    • ‘He rolled his eyes and took another piece out, taking a bite.’
    • ‘She took a big bite out of it; a look of pure bliss coming to her face as she slowly swallowed it.’
    • ‘Yorant took a big bite of bread, chewed slowly and swallowed.’
    • ‘He took a big bite of cookie, then looked curiously at the man before him.’
    • ‘Brian tried speaking out something but realized that he couldn't talk as he had taken too big a bite so instead he gave her thumbs up while wiping his mouth with a tissue.’
    • ‘Jerin shook her head and took a big bite out of one.’
    • ‘Raine took a big bite out of it, smiling as she did so.’
    • ‘Grady pulled out a muffin and took a big bite out of it.’
    • ‘Suzie exclaimed as she took a big bite out of her fried egg sandwich.’
    • ‘He swallowed his big bite of hamburger and moved the pages of his English homework he'd been studying.’
    • ‘The boy took a big bite of chicken and gulped down the last of the wine.’
    • ‘He reached in, pulled out a chocolate square and took a big bite.’
    • ‘In any case, it is somewhat too big a bite to swallow at once.’
    1. 2.1informal A quick snack.
      ‘I plan to stop off in the village and have a bite to eat’
      • ‘When we were flying about all over the place we would always try to catch up for an hour in the day to grab a bite to eat or have a quick pint before going on to our next appointments.’
      • ‘Unlike last year, there won't be a bar so bring a packed lunch for a bite to eat and drink.’
      • ‘With only a couple hours in-between events you barely have enough time to grab a bite to eat and a quick shower before it is time to chamois-up again and hit the road.’
      • ‘I head over to the snack table hoping for a bite to eat as I see none other then Aiden there.’
      • ‘Since it was lunch time, my parents decided to grab a bite to eat at a well-known Mexican place called El Cholo.’
      • ‘The dinner break was our chance to escape the confines of the club for a while, so we grabbed a bite to eat at Burrito Max on Kenmore Square.’
      • ‘Tara's nose tuned into smell of breakfast and decided to go downstairs to get a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Soak in the sunlight for a bit in Rembrandt Square and then go have a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Afterwards, we had a bite to eat at a place in Uptown.’
      • ‘A mighty night for all concerned with all present having a bite to eat and then dancing the night away into the early hours!’
      • ‘I'm going to get me a bite to eat and get back to work.’
      • ‘At this point, I have 30 minutes to go ahead and grab a bite to eat, go do some work for some other class, or, my favorite, sit down and relax.’
      • ‘We stopped to stretch our legs and get a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Off to my favourite restaurant now for a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Speaking of prams, if you would like a bite to eat after one of these events, do not even bother trying to get into a new restaurant on O'Connell Street.’
      • ‘We're in a pub, drinking, and having a bite to eat.’
      • ‘At 2,635 what better place to rest awhile and enjoy a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Here in the tea stalls of Islamabad, crowds gather at lunchtime for a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Choosing from the selection of light bites and bigger offerings proved difficult.’
      • ‘This Champps, however, bears no affiliation to a greasy spoon and instead is an upscale place to watch the game, grab a bite and win big prizes.’
      snack, light meal, something to eat, mouthful, soupçon, nibbles, titbit, savoury, appetizer
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2A small morsel of prepared food, intended to constitute one mouthful.
      ‘bacon bites with cheese’
      • ‘These pom-pom cocktail sticks are adorable - and so much more fun than just regular toothpicks for small bites of food.’
      • ‘Partying Muscovites do not do insignificant taster bites of food; they do whole meals.’
      • ‘There are also fried shrimp, some very fresh crisp celery, carrots and cucumbers with a creamy dip, and some lightly cornmeal-crusted bites of fish.’
      • ‘The pistachio and lemon bites became almond flavoured when I made them, as almonds were all I had in the pantry.’
      • ‘There were even a few bites of fresh strawberry on the side.’
      mouthful, piece, morsel, bit
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3A short piece of information.
      • ‘That's a perspective that we don't have from the very short news bites.’
      • ‘You and your child are watching ESPN Sportscenter and you see these short news bites.’
      • ‘With a large cast on his hands, Whedon had to give audiences a sense of each character in short, economic bites.’
      • ‘These passages are just too short: they will make you wish for a bigger bite.’
      • ‘It's a small bite of interesting thoughts, statistics and references.’
  • 3A sharp or pungent flavour.

    ‘a fresh, lemony bite’
    • ‘The prawns were top quality with a real bite and flavour that carried through the spicy sauce.’
    • ‘The Spaniard insists on only being occasionally surprised by a piquant bite of hot pepper.’
    • ‘Sherry vinegar brightens salad dressings with a sharp bite of purple grapes.’
    • ‘It's got pointy leaves, a papery texture, and tastes like mint infused with a good bite of white pepper, along with lemon and cilantro.’
    • ‘It has a crisp taste, a small bite, a mellow finish, and it plays well with others, i.e. the incomparable Yucatan beer Leon.’
    • ‘The duck was delicious, the tasty aubergine pickle had an interesting bite of heat and the jus was also very good, though the peanut mash was not very peanutty.’
    • ‘The vegetables in both our dishes, which included big pieces of pepper, onion and mini sweetcorn, were cooked just right so they kept some bite and their own flavours.’
    • ‘The gentler side of onions comes out in the cooking - but even when their pungency has been tamed, they retain a little bite to remind you of their wild past.’
    • ‘It's consistency and taste changed with the month, but the spicy bite and numbing effects were the same.’
    • ‘The heat takes the bite out of the onion while still providing loads of flavour.’
    • ‘Shivers go down your spine and you shake your head at the refreshing but zesty and sharp bite of the limejuice - oooph!’
    • ‘You need some bite to distinguish the flavours, which is exactly what was delivered here.’
    • ‘Red cabbage and lentils offered just the right contrast of flavours and bite, but the red wine jus was a little too rich.’
    • ‘It was a dark, deep chocolate truffle with a very distinct bite of fresh black pepper.’
    • ‘This Australian bottling offers a hint of sweetness that's backed up with a little lemony bite and lots of fruit flavor.’
    • ‘The gin is assertive, woody, a pungent mouthful, with the bite of alcohol and aromatics.’
    • ‘Generally, use a quarter of your normal amount of pepper, as microwaves really bring out its bite.’
    • ‘It felt like heaven in his mouth and he closed his eyes momentarily, lost in the bliss of mozzarella cheese and the spicy bite of Italian sausage.’
    • ‘Now that the molecular structure of these receptors is known, scientists may be able to use this knowledge to take the bite out of bitter.’
    • ‘A slightly oxidised finish adds bite to the rich palate.’
    piquancy, pungency, spice, spiciness, saltiness, pepperiness, flavour, flavouring, savour, taste, tastiness, relish, tang, zest, sharpness, tartness, interest, edge, effect, potency
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1mass noun Incisiveness or cogency of style.
      ‘the tale has added bite if its characters appear to be real’
      • ‘For all that, it remained a good newspaper, with style, bite and flair and a welcome contrast to the more predictable Herald and Sun.’
      • ‘Contrasting the performance of girls and boys adds extra bite to the analysis.’
      • ‘The new drummer, clearly a big Keith Moon fan, added some much needed energy and bite to the songs.’
      • ‘The balance problems are never convincingly solved by conductor Paul Gambill, and the playing throughout lacks rhythmic bite and sparkle.’
      • ‘The supporting stories have a much sharper bite, including a return to his painfully confessional autobiographical style.’
      • ‘The politics of John Heartfield's collages and the work of the Russians in the 1920s have not lost their verve and bite.’
      • ‘IWT also promises that ‘complex issues will be addressed with energy, bite and wit.’’
      • ‘The writer, for one, was convinced that the police drama badly needed an injection of energy and bite.’
      • ‘Shields and Jones bring great exuberance to a diverse array of roles, and although there's some crassness in the characterizations, the script has bite.’
      • ‘But what he will bring to the role is the bark, and bite, Brown lacks.’
      • ‘In short, what we see is Lali Puna slowing down the work of its associates, while the other groups add darker beats and stronger bite to the band's own music.’
      • ‘She surmounted the role's many difficulties with ease and grace and imbued the Czech language with particular bite.’
      • ‘Despite his critics' concerns, the character is funny, with real satirical bite, and remains hugely popular with young black and white audiences alike.’
      • ‘The poems have a variety of voices and characters, which give them their great colloquial bite.’
      • ‘That said, the story lacks the classic satiric or thematic bite of a Shakespearean or Molierian work.’
      • ‘His tale of isolation and illusion is a beautifully written story with a hidden, subtle bite.’
      • ‘The Dukes' first few songs were actually pretty tame, though Danny brought in a little bite.’
      • ‘Her involvement, her interest gives the article bite.’
      • ‘Her voice has a sharp delicious bite onstage that isn't as apparent on their albums.’
      • ‘That famous voice is also fading: while he can still reach a volume way beyond that of mere mortals, there is little of the erstwhile bite and zing.’
      dynamism, life, go, energy, spirit, vigour, vigorousness, liveliness, sparkle, vivacity, vitality, sprightliness, force, forcefulness, drive, strength, animation, verve, panache, elan, enthusiasm, exuberance, gusto, brio, zest, bite
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2A feeling of cold in the air or wind.
      ‘by early October there's a bite in the air’
      • ‘Out of the sun, though, there was still a cold bite to the air.’
      • ‘Inside the park, suddenly feeling the bite of a chill wind under a slate-grey sky, the marchers stood and listened to speakers whose delivery seldom lived up to the occasion.’
      • ‘The sun is out, there's a cold bite to the air, it's fresh and, at last, the best season of the year has arrived.’
      • ‘The weak sunlight did nothing to diminish the cold bite of the air.’
      • ‘Each dram took the bite out of the cold air and as light faded from the highlands around us, the browns and greens fading to deeper grays, we told stories of the departed that turned the air blue.’
      • ‘I could imagine the cold bite of the night air on my tongue and the how the snow would crunch as I walked.’
      • ‘I had wrapped a thick quilt around myself, protecting my skin from the bite of the cold sea air.’
      • ‘A light drizzle permeated the foliage, and the bite of the wind pierced Clyde's windbreaker.’
      • ‘A lovely, sunny day, though there was a bite in the wind that warranted great care in the region of the kidneys.’
      • ‘The only recluse for them is to light bonfires to fend off the bite of cold and urban people are preferring to stay indoors.’
      • ‘No great penalty because the weather has turned somewhat grey and dour, with a bite in the wind that's guaranteed to find its way through all but the stoutest of outdoor clothing.’
      • ‘Shuffling to her classroom, she was quickly joined by her best friend Sara, who was also over bundled to help dull the harsh bite of the December wind.’
      • ‘It may as well have been thirty for all the headway they were making, stumbling blindly into the stinging bite of the wind.’
      • ‘Unsurprising, thought Caspian, as the bite of the wind on his face made him breathe in sharply.’
      • ‘The afternoon sun took some of the bite out of the cold, but most of the other girls were still wearing sweats.’
      • ‘Even through the crude padded jacket and leggings I'd made from the sacking I felt the bite of the wind.’
      • ‘The wind was picking up, and there was a small bite in the air, especially after the warmth of the library.’
      • ‘There was a slight bite to the wind when she stepped out of the building and she could not wait for spring.’
      • ‘The wind now has a bite that it did not have just a few days ago.’
      • ‘It is now autumn, blue & gold, with combine harvesters roaring in the fields and a crisp, cold bite in the air all of a sudden.’

Phrases

    be bitten by the — bug
    • Develop a passionate interest in a specified activity.

      ‘Joe was badly bitten by the showbiz bug at the age of four’
      • ‘Seems that Bob has been bitten by the sales bug after his experiences at Imvector.’
      • ‘In 1994, while I was a managing editor at Doubleday, I acquired my first book and was bitten by the acquisitions bug.’
      • ‘Have I been bitten by the Wi-Fi bug?’
      • ‘Then he got bitten by the acting bug himself.’
    bite the big one
    North American informal
    • Die.

      ‘the Premier bit the big one, supposedly an automobile accident’
      • ‘Don't let the evildoers say that Liberty bites the big one.’
      • ‘The filmmakers do go out of their way, however, to remove as much culpability from Cordell as possible when a villain bites the big one, like ducking just in time for a baddie to get stuffed with an arrow fired by his own co-villain.’
      • ‘Sargon is supposedly killed when Kirk dies, but he doesn't die and yet the being inside Spock bites the big one when Spock dies.’
      • ‘The pacing is all wrong and the characters so dull there won't be a single audience member to care if Mr. Brady bites the big one or not.’
      • ‘For example, it's fairly easy to guess which characters are going to bite the big one in the machines vs. Zion battle before the first machine even arrives.’
      • ‘Stone was about ready to bite the big one, but some quick thinking and movements on his part turned the tables!’
      • ‘Gather them up, give them some guns, and get them ready to bite the big one.’
      • ‘And then the CIA would be hers to rule once Dr. Collins bit the big one.’
      • ‘When the heart monitor went dead, my whole body went into a coma-like state, so that's why it looked like I'd bit the big one.’
      • ‘You can take a few hits that phase or stun you before biting the big one.’
    bite the dust
    • 1informal Be killed.

      ‘the baddies bite the dust with lead in their bellies’
      • ‘And whole nations of bad guys would bite the dust.’
      • ‘I'm not going to talk baby talk to Annie and teach her the Disney world of violence with no consequences, where the bad guy always bites the dust and the good guy lives happily ever after.’
      • ‘I had started seed last summer and put out some transplants last fall, and they bit the dust with our harsh winter.’
      • ‘Perhaps, after spending a century or so biting the dust in Hollywood films, these native Americans are happy to be playing the good guys.’
      • ‘Expect doors bashed open, a rapid burst of gunfire and another bomber biting the dust.’
      • ‘The editing also confuses and distracts at key moments and the plot grows increasingly garbled as commanding officers cower in fear, lowly ranks refuse to obey orders and make a run for it, and another soldier bites the dust.’
      • ‘And once the city pound, Berger Blanc, is called in, death is often the result - and it's usually not the catcher who bites the dust.’
      • ‘It does not change the fact that another youth bites the dust to a druglord's greed and disregard for the value of life.’
      • ‘I was almost at the foot of the World Trade Centre when it happened and for a second I thought I was going to bite the dust.’
      • ‘But the Marshal still won't bite the dust; Sawyer was aiming for the heart, but got it wrong and shot him in the chest instead.’
      1. 1.1Fail or come to an end.
        ‘she hoped the new course would not bite the dust for lack of funding’
        • ‘By the time DOS bit the dust in the fall of 2001, the company whose growth it ignited was valued at $341 billion.’
        • ‘Also biting the dust will be the Metropole's ballroom and other rooms, centres of many late night jazz festival gigs and other functions.’
        • ‘The games are being run off thick and fast and the results as usual in a competition with such a high class field have been mixed to say the least with an odd big name biting the dust.’
        • ‘We know what happens when robust journalism bites the dust.’
        • ‘Every month another one bites the dust or news filters through of a fresh closure looming.’
        • ‘Warwickshire will be justifiably proud to become the last name to be engraved on the B & H Cup as the competition bites the dust after being around for 30 years.’
        • ‘And so a fine conservative website/blog bites the dust.’
        • ‘Like so many of my dreams, another one bites the dust.’
        • ‘But as one blog bites the dust, another appears, and you know, at some blogs they do things differently.’
        • ‘And what about those million black-owned businesses that might bite the dust because of the dreaded estate tax?’
    bite the hand that feeds one
    • Deliberately hurt or offend a benefactor.

      • ‘It's funny to hear a filmmaker bite the hand that feeds.’
      • ‘And then its more prophetic voice might be muted or silenced because it doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds.’
      • ‘Aunt Marthy's passive hopefulness is problematic for Linda but critiquing it would be to bite the hand that feeds and inspires her.’
      • ‘It is surely irrational to bite the hand that feeds.’
      • ‘But is it the best strategy for a consumer brand to bite the hand that feeds?’
      • ‘The only thing we're surprised about when it comes to the protest is that they picked on us - they are biting the hand that feeds them.’
      • ‘The suggestion that somehow we are biting the hand that feeds us is absolute nonsense.’
      • ‘Go back to the woods, sing country music or yodel, stop biting the hand that feeds you and leave hip-hop to the people who understand and appreciate it.’
      • ‘But the BBC is apparently about to set a new standard for biting the hand that feeds it.’
      • ‘But I wouldn't write anything to lift the lid on the fashion industry - it would be biting the hand that feeds me.’
    bite the bullet
    • Decide to do something difficult or unpleasant that one has been putting off or hesitating over.

      ‘decisions have to be taken and as director you have got to bite the bullet’
      • ‘But now I have decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.’
      • ‘I decided to bite the bullet and spend the money to rebuild her engine.’
      • ‘We decided to bite the bullet, and implement the scheme in order to raise standards, for the sake of Merton's children.’
      • ‘With a new wife and a baby on the way, Chris decided to bite the bullet and flew over to Canada two weeks ago, enlisting the help of the local paper.’
      • ‘So we decided to bite the bullet, return to Akihabara and buy our own webcam so I could forget the whole office nonsense.’
      • ‘So I decided to bite the bullet and ring them again, something I was previously determined not to do.’
      • ‘Finally Shyam bit the bullet and decided to get the fumigation done.’
      • ‘I decided to bite the bullet, discuss the fumble, and, in the process, learned a valuable lesson.’
      • ‘They decided 2003 was the time to bite the bullet and make the journey.’
      • ‘Councillors should bite the bullet and restrict traffic in such areas while providing the practical alternative.’
    the biter bitten (or bit)
    • Used to indicate that someone is being treated in the same way that they have treated others, typically badly.

      ‘now the cruel biter was being cruelly bitten’
      • ‘It's the old tale of the biter bit: Jarrett finds he doesn't hold all the cards, and Raja exacts revenge for being made to look like Liberace.’
      • ‘So the irony is delightful, a case of the biter bit, sort of, except that it is the NSW taxpayers that will have been bitten in the end if this judgement is upheld in any appeal.’
      • ‘Just twelve months later, he almost repeated the trick, taking Luton back to the final, though this time it was a case of the biter bit as, after leading 1 -, they finally succumbed 3-1 to Cloughie's Nottingham Forest.’
      • ‘Arsenal, by the way, look like a case now of the biter bit.’
      • ‘I do enjoy reading Guido's blog, it's fun, but this case of the biter bit was just too tempting to ignore.’
    bite one's nails
    • Chew at one's nails as a nervous habit.

      ‘I used to bite my nails’
      • ‘This particular piece of info/tip relates to writing novels - a distressingly bad habit, like biting your nails, which some of you seem to have picked from mixing with entirely the wrong people.’
      • ‘Parents must keep their children away from unsterile food and prevent such habits as biting their nails.’
      • ‘The relationship seems to work wonders on him, too, as he begins to shed pounds, visit the gym and even break his long-standing habit of biting his nails.’
      • ‘It's really out of my control, so what's the use in obsessively worrying and biting my nails and smoking and thinking of all the reasons I shouldn't get the job now that I want it.’
      • ‘All I can say is I stopped biting my nails, a lifelong habit, only after I said that final goodbye to him.’
      • ‘If all else fails, try a bad tasting nail paint, specially formulated to put children off biting their nails.’
      • ‘Sure, it was unhealthy, but at least she wasn't biting her nails so much anymore and bitten nails, she'd decided, were so ugly and spoke of an unbalanced mind.’
      • ‘I get really nervous before recording and I start biting my nails.’
      • ‘Whether yours is to quit smoking or biting your nails, when the sparkle of the Christmas celebrations has worn off, few of us will be sticking to our new year resolutions.’
      • ‘We do offer acrylic nails as they are OK in certain circumstances such as to stop someone biting their nails or for a wedding, but we try to promote natural nails.’
    bite one's lip
    • Repress an emotion; stifle laughter or repress a retort.

      ‘she bit her lip to stop the rush of bitter words’
      • ‘Ashley felt the beginning of a smile, and she bit her lip.’
      • ‘She bit her lip; suddenly realizing she'd used the term "amazing" a lot since arriving in London.’
      • ‘I bit my lip and forced myself to be calm.’
      • ‘The brunette winced, knowing that Mack had no idea how many times Charlie had bitten his lip to stop the questions that sprung up in his mind.’
      • ‘The girl beside him had bitten her lip to keep from crying out loud.’
    bite off more than one can chew
    • Take on a commitment one cannot fulfil.

      ‘serves him right for biting off more than he could chew’
      • ‘The problem isn't tennis; it's biting off more than you can chew and trying to swallow it in one big gulp.’
      • ‘Don't bite off more than you can chew.’
      • ‘So be there six sharp - make your own forensic analysis, bite off more than you can chew and catch some local talent at the same time.’
      • ‘Tell them that you were just anxious to be as open as possible and maybe you bit off more than you could chew.’
      • ‘One way to check whether you're being realistic is to ask close friends who can be honest and candid with you about whether you're biting off more than you can chew.’
      • ‘‘Boy,’ snickered one of the councilors, ‘despite your victory against Ignus, I think you're biting off more than you can chew here.’’
      • ‘There is always the danger of biting off more than you can chew; of going out to save the world before even beginning to save yourself and the people around you.’
      • ‘Jack joked about biting off more than you can chew, and held out a smaller hand than Carol's.’
      • ‘If you're hoofing or riding roundtrip, don't bite off more than you can chew.’
      • ‘While biting off more than one can chew is arduous, the practice concept is necessary.’
    bite one's tongue
    • Make a desperate effort to avoid saying something.

      ‘I had to bite my tongue and accept his explanation’
      • ‘Parents should bite their tongue and make an effort to get along with a teacher.’
      • ‘Julian gaped at him for a moment before abruptly leaving the office, biting his tongue to avoid saying things he wanted to but which would surely cost him his job.’
      • ‘She bit her tongue in a large effort not to say what had floated across her mind.’
      • ‘I often felt like I had to bite my tongue and take deep breaths to avoid berating them for their complete lack of common sense or perspective.’
      • ‘Start spreadin' the news… loudly and without biting your tongue: New York shall rise again, not through war, but by speech.’
      • ‘Don't know if you can tell or not but I've got the blogging urge tonight, but as most of the stuff I want to say involves other people I am biting my tongue somewhat.’
      • ‘I spent a lot of time biting my tongue, which isn't easy for me.’
      • ‘For example, when one of the recurring characters gets into a huge fight with her two-timing boyfriend, Touma found himself biting his tongue.’
      • ‘My friend looked over at me, biting his tongue and furrowing his eyebrows.’
      • ‘It is certainly not the kind of situation where confrontation is advisable - and that is why our seething guide bites his tongue and suppresses the urge to curse at their thoughtless conduct.’
    one could have bitten one's tongue off
    • Used to convey that one profoundly and immediately regrets having said something.

      ‘as soon as he had spoken, Grant could have bitten his tongue off’
      • ‘Even as the question left my lips, I could have bitten my tongue off.’
      • ‘He cried, and the next instant could have bitten his tongue off for the childish vanity of the speech.’
      • ‘He could have bitten his tongue off the moment the words were spoken.’
      • ‘As soon as he had uttered the question, he could have bitten his tongue off.’
      • ‘There was one of those horrible silences when I could have bitten my tongue off.’
      • ‘After the word was out I could have bitten my tongue off.’
      • ‘As soon as I did, I could have bitten my tongue off, but she just laughed and said, ‘I already had that figured out.’’
    once bitten, twice shy
    proverb
    • An unpleasant experience induces caution.

      • ‘There will be an element of once bitten, twice shy with investors who will shy away from going back into equities.’
      • ‘The Kerry champions, on their first visit to Croke Park as a club, played with the conservatism and nervousness of a team that had been here before, once bitten, twice shy.’
      • ‘But her resilient, pragmatic approach won over voters who could arguably have been once bitten, twice shy about returning any sort of Thatcher to victory.’
      • ‘I can only hope that as a nation, we remain once bitten, twice shy.’
      • ‘I would never have believed the pictures had I not seen them, and once bitten, twice shy.’
      • ‘Of course, once bitten, twice shy, and on top of that, he's got the whole male ego thing telling him not to take another risk.’
      • ‘For him, however, it was not a case of once bitten, twice shy.’
    put the bite on
    North American, Australian, New Zealand informal
    • Borrow or extort money from.

      ‘a deadbeat diner tried to put the bite on a restaurant’
      • ‘Damn, I thought, putting the bite on me for food money.’
      • ‘I'm no elitist and I'm all for genuine homeless people getting a better deal all round, but it beggared belief to see him shopping with the people he was putting the bite on just minutes before.’
      • ‘It is scandalous is that while Catholic schools across the country have missed out on anywhere between $560 million and $2-3 billion over the past four years, they have put the bite on parents to make up some of the difference.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the governor - through a special economic development fund overseen by his office - also has been putting the bite on a host of companies and other special interests to contribute to his pet cause.’
      • ‘O.K., we're going to put the bite on these guys.’
      • ‘While other institutions are forced to increasingly put the bite on private donors, Alex's institute of lower learning continues to enjoy a steady stream of taxpayer-funded treats.’
      • ‘‘You invite me here for a bite to eat, and I end up putting the bite on you,’ he told a business lunch.’
      • ‘When putting the bite on friends in America, for example, I can tell them they're coming to a very special part of the country.’
      • ‘These extra special anniversary celebrations may be costing a bit, but putting the bite on a top banana for the sake of a first class stamp is not on, Liz.’
      • ‘Throw in his $110,000 sessional allowance and $39,376 in travel, and Joyal put the bite on taxpayers for a total of $326,325.’
    take a bite out of
    informal
    • Reduce by a significant amount.

      ‘commissions that can take a bite out of your retirement funds’
      • ‘It is not clear precisely how long that period was, but it clearly takes a bite out of that 9 month period.’
      • ‘Energy costs are taking a bite out of household budgets, especially for lower-income families.’
      • ‘It must have seemed like Groundhog Day, as problems at his American West Coast subsidiary Pacificorp took a bite out of the Glasgow utility's share price.’
      • ‘The extreme drought conditions in parts of the Corn Belt took a bite out of its crops, the government cutting its estimates for corn and soybeans by 12 and 11 percent nationally.’
      • ‘They want to see the police taking a bite out of the crime situation.’
      • ‘From our economics 101 textbooks, we remember that high oil prices act as a tax for consumers by slowing down consumer spending, which eventually takes a bite out of growth.’
      • ‘Expansion into New York takes a bite out of Pret A Manger profits.’
      • ‘The Edmonton Police Service is looking for a few good men and women - around 100 per year for the next several years - to take a bite out of crime.’
      • ‘Distribution costs take a bite out of the revenue, as does the cost of the Red Hat Network sub.’
      • ‘If the price of fueling their vehicles truly took a bite out of their household budget, consumers would be buying vehicles that get much better fuel economy.’
    bite me
    informal
    • Used to express defiance against or contempt for someone.

      ‘it's just my opinion; if you don't like it, bite me!’
      ‘they can bite me on the travel issue’
      • ‘We drink so we can look out into nothingness and shriek "Bite me!"’
      • ‘She stuck her tongue out at him, but there was no real venom in her words, "Oh, bite me."’
      • ‘"Bite me!" I yelled in response.’
      • ‘So I'm a little predictable, bite me.’
      • ‘For those of you picky about spelling, bite me.’
      • ‘I'm going to my single bed to wallow in my bitterness now, so bite me.’
      • ‘As for your complaints that it would not qualify as a documentary because it is not factual, bite me.’
      • ‘If you have a problem with that, bite me.’
      • ‘That girl's been doing that since this morning, so you can just bite me.’
      • ‘My point is bite me and let me do what I want to my car.’

Phrasal Verbs

    bite something back
    • Refrain with difficulty from saying something, making a sound, or expressing an emotion.

      ‘Melissa bit back a scathing comment’
      • ‘I was going to retort with some scathing sarcasm, but I bit it back for one reason.’
      • ‘A pathetic sound ripped out of her before she could bite it back.’
      • ‘Nervous laughter welled up but she bit it back, knowing how crazy it would sound.’
      • ‘A smart comeback was on the tip of her tongue but she chose to bite it back and smiled a strained grin.’
      • ‘The words were on the tip of my tongue before I bit them back.’
      • ‘Reuben felt tears stinging his eyes, but he bit them back.’
      • ‘Toni turned surprised eyes on the uniforms and then back to Troy ready to accuse him of Gestapo tactics but bit her words back at the look of surprise mirrored in his eyes as well.’
      • ‘She bit the sobs back but the tears came anyway, staining her cheeks and the pillow beneath her.’
      • ‘John's harsh tone took him by surprise but he bit a sharp reply back.’
      • ‘He felt a pang of guilt at his deception, but bit it back.’

Origin

Old English bītan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bijten and German beissen.

Pronunciation

bite

/bʌɪt/