Definition of bite in English:

bite

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Use the teeth to cut into (something)

    ‘the woman's arm was bitten off by an alligator’
    [no object] ‘Rosa bit into a cream cake’
    • ‘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 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 looked at him, biting a piece of the pop tart off.’
    • ‘Consumers can't wait to bite into them because the little extra cooking required to finish them off makes for a better-tasting bagel.’
    • ‘He seemed to eat the liquid as though it were meat, biting it and chewing, then swallowing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two months later, one of Rachel's new front teeth ‘sheared off’ as she was biting a slice of bread.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She blushed after realizing how foolish she must look and chewed what she had before biting another piece.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My hope is that a consumer, when they bite into them, will combine their personal memory with that peach.’
    • ‘The next time your all set to bite into a succulent Fish, think Yana Gupta.’
    • ‘Raine glanced up, biting another piece of his French toast.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As she lay unconscious, part of her nose, her mouth and chin were bitten off by her Labrador-cross dog, Tania.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.
      ‘she had bitten, scratched, and kicked her assailant’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One officer suffered minor injuries after being bitten on the hand.’
      • ‘She told me that, without any warning, the cat had jumped on her, scratched her, and bitten her in the right arm.’
      • ‘William sustained serious head and body injuries and Chang was bitten on his arms.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Data from the East Kalimantan health office shows there were at least 11 cases of residents bitten by dogs recorded between July and August.’
      • ‘Then the bear bit his leg, sinking a tooth all the way to the femur bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He learns that there are times when it is right to bite a man.’
      • ‘She had a history of contact with both dogs and cats; however, she did not recall being bitten or scratched.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cat-scratch disease is an infection that occurs after your child was scratched or bitten by a cat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A local hunter put the dog down but it was thought to have bitten at least 12 children and adults.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The idea was shelved when the foxes kept biting their handlers and eventually chewed through their enclosures and escaped.’
    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’
      • ‘The female mosquitoes become the bloodsuckers, and they use their long proboscis to bite other animals and feed on their blood.’
      • ‘He was a great student, especially after he had his leg amputated from being bitten by a snake in Africa on holiday.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He had been bitten by a spider in Brazil, which probably lowered his immunity, and further tests showed that he was HIV positive.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘Once bitten by a snake you feel suspicious even when you see a piece of rope.’
      • ‘When you've been bitten by a snake, you're leery of a lizard.’
      • ‘People who have been bitten by a snake are afraid of garden hoses at first glance.’
      • ‘I got bitten by another spider last night while I was asleep.’
      • ‘The Krait bite is much less obvious and it is very difficult for people to know that they have been bitten at all.’
      • ‘Both apparently got bitten by snakes while fleeing through the sand dunes at Pearly Beach last month, and died.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The most important role played by the snake charmers is in treating people who have been bitten by snakes.’
      • ‘All over the world, people come in with wounds and think they've been bitten by a spider.’
      • ‘It has led, among other things, to his being bitten by a snake and several times by scorpions.’
      • ‘The pedigree puppy, which cost $800, is believed to have been bitten by a spider, and has a rash around her neck.’
      • ‘She tried to weed the garden but got bitten by a spider.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3[no object](of an acid) corrode a surface.
      ‘chemicals have bitten deep into the stone’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Square paintings divided into apparently geometric blocks, the stripped areas retaining the ghostly residue of the oils where they have bitten into the canvas.’
    4. 1.4[no 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’
      • ‘I recommend you have a day visiting this world famous Space Centre even if the fish are biting madly.’
      • ‘It was late in the afternoon and the water in the pool was warm and the fish were biting well.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So now here I am, with no fish biting, a rain storm on its way, and my foot hurts.’
      • ‘Frank told everyone at dinner that he will try to put people ashore at 8 in the morning, unless the fish are biting.’
      • ‘Being evening, the fish were biting beautifully, and he caught three decent-sized trout in only about half of an hour.’
      • ‘Now is the time to launch the real bait over the side of the boat and see how the fish are biting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Which is why spots where the fish are biting still get crowded.’
      • ‘Bowing towards the water, I indicated that the horses might like to drink and that the fish were not biting anyway.’
      • ‘His ultimate goal is to get as many fish biting on his line as he can.’
      • ‘But if I had to, I would go fishing even if the fish weren't 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although the first thought is generally to catch the bass biting at the very onset of spring or the blues running in autumn.’
      • ‘They will attack the bait and confuse you into thinking that a ‘proper’ fish is biting.’
      • ‘He'll get away from it briefly when it's goose season in his native Nebraska or when the fish are biting somewhere.’
      • ‘Interestingly, fish were biting and many were caught in river and sea.’
      • ‘When the fish aren't biting, I want to listen to her tell me what makes her happy and what makes her cry.’
      • ‘We were fishing, and all of the fish were biting on one side of the boat.’
    5. 1.5informal [no object]Be persuaded to accept a deal or offer.
      ‘a hundred or so retailers should bite’
      • ‘Then low ball every doctor in the area until some physician or physician group bites.’
      • ‘I keep getting subscription invitations from Walrus magazine, and got one from Geist too, but I haven't bitten yet.’
      • ‘AMD's revival of the concept targets a new audience, one more likely to bite than Western consumers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A dangling carrot for public consumption… assuming we get the opportunity to bite before it's snatched away.’
      • ‘Given this setup - and it's typical in energy partnerships - why would any investor bite?’
      • ‘But the reporter had bitten, says Mike, hook, line and sinker.’
      • ‘No matter how tempting customized products may sound, consumers don't always bite when it comes to buying them online.’
      • ‘Despite efforts on the business end, consumers just didn't bite.’
      • ‘The Yanks' rightfielder wasn't biting at Araton's line of reasoning.’
      • ‘If retailers bite, licensing could feasibly extend anywhere that makes sense for the brand's lifestyle positioning.’
    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.’
  • 2[no object] (of a tool, tyre, boot, etc.) grip or take hold on a surface.

    ‘once on the slab, my boots failed to bite’
    • ‘Once in the shelter of the bay, the skipping engine bites deeper into the calmer waters, and the ship picks up speed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Our tools bit like the teeth of shark, as net after net was left shredded at our feet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With a gasp, Guiromélans lands on the blades, feeling their edges bite into the soles of his boots.’
    • ‘First he got the saw to bite into it one way and then another so he could make a sort of divot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Studded tyres, usually needed to bite through the ice and snow, were never used.’
    • ‘We practise sliding downhill with skis at 90 degrees to the fall line, edges biting deep.’
    • ‘He had an old, discoloured ball, just the sort that's ready to grip and bite, in his hand.’
    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.’
      • ‘The steel bandings bit into his hands, and he slid down its length, crashing into the cart below.’
      • ‘The metal was biting at his wrist and the wires stuck to him itched.’
      • ‘Rilleta clenched her hands on the reins until they bit into her hands and her mount stepped, shaking her head.’
      • ‘He pressed it forward slightly and Adam winced as it bit into the tender flesh on his throat.’
      • ‘Wincing as the tiny thorns bit into his arms, he cursed his eternal lack of foresight and short sleeves.’
      • ‘It exploded in a mass of fiery shards that bit into him, but he was unstoppable.’
      • ‘She tied her up tight, too, and the ropes bit into her wrists and ankles.’
      • ‘Metal collars bit into the mass' neck, crusted blood flaking to the scales below.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I grabbed her hand to pull her up, wincing as her numerous rings bit into my fingers.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Tim Lambert, normally writing on science, brings a sad photograph and a homely family touch which bites almost deeper than the horror.’
      • ‘These are staggering figures and have bitten deep into the British soul.’
      • ‘Those words cut the deepest, biting into him and holding fast.’
      • ‘Then the dreams became too troublesome, the regrets began to bite too deep, too bitterly.’
    3. 2.3(of a policy or situation) take effect, with unpleasant consequences.
      ‘the cuts in art education were starting to bite’
      • ‘Lately, however, Charlotte had noticed that her absences from school were biting deeper into her grades than she had previously thought.’
      • ‘The fuel crisis is already biting in this household.’
      • ‘The deeper the policies bite, the greater the casualties.’
      • ‘As the effects of the drought were biting deeper, production at Blinman was also slowed down.’
      • ‘One in 10 primary school pupils could be taught by unqualified teachers from September as severe staff shortages bite.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thousands of manufacturing jobs are at risk over the next six months as the economic slowdown continues to bite deeper.’
      • ‘The pressures were starting to bite even before the long term effects of foot and mouth spread into the sector.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the full effects of government policy begin to bite, however, there are signs that the political backlash feared in ruling circles is developing.’
      • ‘For other local institutions, including the Women's Museum, budget cuts will doubtlessly bite deeper.’
      • ‘Now we have a stark reminder that this law is serious, that it can bite, and that its effect is undeniably discriminatory.’
      • ‘Because they are New York too - except that there the economic crisis is biting, and shopping is something other people do.’
      • ‘The 19th cent. saw the British merchant navy at its strongest before international competition had bitten deep.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The education funding crisis is set to bite again in September as a survey reveals one in five schools have spent their cash reserves.’
      • ‘However, he said the anticipated knock-on effect of the hunting ban would not bite for a few years.’
      • ‘For example, earlier in 2000, unexpected quantities of Pentium IIs made their appearance when other shortages were biting.’
    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.’
      • ‘If it's not fun then it just bites...right?’
      • ‘It bites that hockey-loving kids are denied their seasonal TV fix.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘Another bite reveals the earthy flavours of the Swiss Chard leaves, followed by a piece of crunchy apple.’
    • ‘I held one out in my hand and the donkey ate it in big bites.’
    • ‘But the pizza came so I only got bits and pieces of the story in between bites.’
    • ‘He eats his food in small bites, but with manic speed.’
    • ‘After two bites of anything, one is eating out of rote, obligation, or need for fuel.’
    • ‘It looks good from the outside, but a firm bite reveals a cold and gooey center.’
    • ‘After two bites of her fish, Marsha commented that it had a strange taste.’
    • ‘And again, after three bites (which effectively finishes the burrito), I tasted no extra onions.’
    • ‘I left the cobbler alone after three bites and ate a handful of hush puppies for dessert.’
    • ‘He runs his hand through his hair before eating his piece in two bites.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She pulled the meat into pieces with her fingers and ate it in little bites.’
    • ‘A few well aimed bites and the bag is shredded, the catnip is everywhere, and you have a wonderful mess to sweep up.’
    • ‘He eats the piece voraciously in several huge bites dropping the remainder.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Animal and human bites can be treated most effectively with amoxicillin-clavulanate.’
      • ‘Almost one half of all dog bites involve an animal owned by the victim's family or neighbors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The disease is spread by the bites of infected animals.’
      • ‘Wash any animal bites or scratches with soap and water and see a doctor if the wound seems serious.’
      • ‘Only a fifth of recent cases had a story of an animal bite and in some of these the infection occurred abroad.’
      • ‘Deep puncture wounds from animal bites become morbid if not promptly tended and closely followed.’
      • ‘Human beings, on the other hand, have the foulest mouths in the animal kingdom and their bites are always septic.’
      • ‘They have short, sharp teeth but their bite can barely puncture human skin.’
      • ‘Rabies is an invariably fatal viral disease caused by the bite of an infected animal, usually a dog.’
      • ‘Any animal bites - even those that don't involve rabies - can lead to infections and other medical problems.’
      • ‘Any bite from an animal, particularly dog, cat, monkey or bat, should be treated as a possible rabies risk.’
      • ‘The gator pulled her under water and inflicted severe bites on her arms, legs and midsection.’
      • ‘If an animal bites or is vicious it is put to sleep so why let any convicted murderer roam our streets?’
      • ‘If the wound was caused by an animal bite, you should report it to the county public health department.’
      • ‘Snappers strike viciously when lifted from water or teased and can inflict a serious bite.’
      • ‘Infections may result from animal or human bites to the hand, but steps can be taken to minimize the chance of that occurring.’
      • ‘Domestic pets are the source of most non-insect animal bites.’
      • ‘Not only can rats inflict a nasty bite, they are associated with disease.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2A wound inflicted by a snake, insect, or spider.
      ‘my legs were covered in mosquito bites’
      • ‘A team of Italian doctors has recently developed a new treatment for leishmaniasis, a skin disease contracted through insect bites.’
      • ‘The street here is quiet, but our kid is especially sensitive to insect bites.’
      • ‘Just as important as malaria prophylaxis is avoiding mosquito bites with insect repellents, impregnated mosquito nets, and suitable clothing.’
      • ‘All were covered with insect bites, were underfed, and three had malaria.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some people were covered in mosquito bites from sheltering in the trees overnight.’
      • ‘The child, half naked, was covered n mosquito 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.’
      • ‘Check your children for ticks, insect bites and allergic reactions.’
      • ‘Aardvarks are covered with thick pinkish-grey skin that protects them from insect bites and may even save them from predators.’
      • ‘The swamps are infested with poisonous snakes and fearsome insects with bites so strong they will either kill a man or drive him mad.’
      • ‘Summer means hay fever, insect bites and sunburn.’
      • ‘She said the temperatures were above 100F, the soldiers were covered in mosquito bites and had no electricity or clean water.’
      • ‘An insect bite isn't an unreasonable wound to suffer, after the rough three weeks they've all gone through.’
      • ‘In the field they carry a medical kit which includes morphine, antibiotics, diarrhoea pills, field dressings and antihistamines for insect bites or allergies.’
      • ‘When we visited this centre I pointed out the possibility of dry bites by venomous snakes.’
      • ‘Individual sores or insect bites can be dabbed directly with lavender oil.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Both victims' symptoms point to some sort of venomous reaction, possibly from a snake or spider bite.’
      • ‘By this time he was suffering from insect bites - the prison was infested with them - that were turning septic.’
    3. 1.3An instance of bait being taken by a fish.
      ‘by four o'clock he still hadn't had a single bite’
      • ‘The tackle had performed well and had converted every bite into a fish on the bank.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Quite exciting fishing it was, the bites really slamming the rods down.’
      • ‘At exactly the same time we both had a bite and we both hooked good fish.’
      • ‘It's very strong, has little stretch and helps to magnify the bites even from small fish.’
      • ‘Persevere with the worm for an hour or so and if no bites are forthcoming then start experimenting with bait.’
      • ‘I started off fishing 20 ft out and had no bites for the first hour.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I fished on for some thirty minutes without a bite then changed over to lobworm, still no success.’
      • ‘Baiting with a big chunk of meat I fished on for half an hour or so without a bite.’
      • ‘Huss bites almost feel like the fish are knocking on the door.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This way you can fish the lift method, but minimise false bites caused by fish bumping against too vertical a line.’
      • ‘The only odd thing about fishing for orfe in very cold conditions with bottom baits is the bites.’
      • ‘All the fish gave really violent bites and virtually hooked themselves.’
      • ‘Lifting the rod from its rest, as guided by Dave, he pointed the tip at the fish and waited for the bite to develop.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thus line can be given if it is pulled by swings of the boat and sudden bites from taking fish.’
      • ‘The fish were aggressive, and the bite was on spinnerbaits, a personal favorite.’
    4. 1.4Dentistry
      The bringing together of the teeth so that the jaws are closed.
      • ‘As your child grows older, you may be concerned about his or her bite and the straightness of his or her teeth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One of the more important aspects of mandibular reduction is to seat the occlusion or bite, as it existed before the accident.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘A double impression 'bite' is made, allowing both the shape of the teeth to be cast and the occlusion to be fixed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She took a big bite out of it; a look of pure bliss coming to her face as she slowly swallowed it.’
    • ‘He rolled his eyes and took another piece out, taking a bite.’
    • ‘Lady Hammer smiled, taking a bite from her own piece of the sweet bread.’
    • ‘I glared at her while taking a bite of the scrumptious piece of buttered and toasted bread.’
    • ‘In any case, it is somewhat too big a bite to swallow at once.’
    • ‘Yorant took a big bite of bread, chewed slowly and swallowed.’
    • ‘Suzie exclaimed as she took a big bite out of her fried egg sandwich.’
    • ‘The boy took a big bite of chicken and gulped down the last of the wine.’
    • ‘I asked, grabbing a piece of toast and taking a satisfying bite.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He swallowed his big bite of hamburger and moved the pages of his English homework he'd been studying.’
    • ‘He picked up a piece of toast and took a deliberate bite.’
    • ‘She broke the bread in half, replacing the bigger portion to the tray and took a bite of the piece she held.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He reached in, pulled out a chocolate square and took a big bite.’
    • ‘He took a big bite of cookie, then looked curiously at the man before him.’
    • ‘Grady pulled out a muffin and took a big bite out of it.’
    • ‘Often all she would eat in a day was a few bites of some chips.’
    1. 2.1informal A quick snack.
      ‘I plan to stop off in the village and have a bite to eat’
      • ‘At 2,635 what better place to rest awhile and enjoy a bite to eat.’
      • ‘We stopped to stretch our legs and get a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Unlike last year, there won't be a bar so bring a packed lunch for a bite to eat and drink.’
      • ‘A mighty night for all concerned with all present having a bite to eat and then dancing the night away into the early hours!’
      • ‘Choosing from the selection of light bites and bigger offerings proved difficult.’
      • ‘We're in a pub, drinking, and having a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Tara's nose tuned into smell of breakfast and decided to go downstairs to get a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Here in the tea stalls of Islamabad, crowds gather at lunchtime for a bite to eat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I head over to the snack table hoping for a bite to eat as I see none other then Aiden there.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Soak in the sunlight for a bit in Rembrandt Square and then go have a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Off to my favourite restaurant now for a bite to eat.’
      • ‘I'm going to get me a bite to eat and get back to work.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Since it was lunch time, my parents decided to grab a bite to eat at a well-known Mexican place called El Cholo.’
      • ‘Afterwards, we had a bite to eat at a place in Uptown.’
    2. 2.2A small morsel of prepared food, intended to constitute one mouthful.
      ‘bacon bites with cheese’
      • ‘Partying Muscovites do not do insignificant taster bites of food; they do whole meals.’
      • ‘There were even a few bites of fresh strawberry on the side.’
      • ‘These pom-pom cocktail sticks are adorable - and so much more fun than just regular toothpicks for small bites of food.’
      • ‘The pistachio and lemon bites became almond flavoured when I made them, as almonds were all I had in the pantry.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 2.3A short piece of information.
      • ‘That's a perspective that we don't have from the very short news bites.’
      • ‘It's a small bite of interesting thoughts, statistics and references.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3A sharp or pungent flavour.

    ‘a fresh, lemony 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.’
    • ‘It has a crisp taste, a small bite, a mellow finish, and it plays well with others, i.e. the incomparable Yucatan beer Leon.’
    • ‘Sherry vinegar brightens salad dressings with a sharp bite of purple grapes.’
    • ‘A slightly oxidised finish adds bite to the rich palate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You need some bite to distinguish the flavours, which is exactly what was delivered here.’
    • ‘The Spaniard insists on only being occasionally surprised by a piquant bite of hot pepper.’
    • ‘The prawns were top quality with a real bite and flavour that carried through the spicy sauce.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This Australian bottling offers a hint of sweetness that's backed up with a little lemony bite and lots of fruit flavor.’
    • ‘Red cabbage and lentils offered just the right contrast of flavours and bite, but the red wine jus was a little too rich.’
    • ‘Generally, use a quarter of your normal amount of pepper, as microwaves really bring out its bite.’
    • ‘The heat takes the bite out of the onion while still providing loads of flavour.’
    • ‘It's consistency and taste changed with the month, but the spicy bite and numbing effects were the same.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Shivers go down your spine and you shake your head at the refreshing but zesty and sharp bite of the limejuice - oooph!’
    • ‘The gin is assertive, woody, a pungent mouthful, with the bite of alcohol and aromatics.’
    • ‘It was a dark, deep chocolate truffle with a very distinct bite of fresh black pepper.’
    piquancy, pungency, spice, spiciness, saltiness, pepperiness, flavour, flavouring, savour, taste, tastiness, relish, tang, zest, sharpness, tartness, interest, edge, effect, potency
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1[mass noun]Incisiveness or cogency of style.
      ‘the tale has added bite if its characters appear to be real’
      • ‘The balance problems are never convincingly solved by conductor Paul Gambill, and the playing throughout lacks rhythmic bite and sparkle.’
      • ‘Despite his critics' concerns, the character is funny, with real satirical bite, and remains hugely popular with young black and white audiences alike.’
      • ‘His tale of isolation and illusion is a beautifully written story with a hidden, subtle bite.’
      • ‘The supporting stories have a much sharper bite, including a return to his painfully confessional autobiographical style.’
      • ‘Her voice has a sharp delicious bite onstage that isn't as apparent on their albums.’
      • ‘Her involvement, her interest gives the article bite.’
      • ‘IWT also promises that ‘complex issues will be addressed with energy, bite and wit.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She surmounted the role's many difficulties with ease and grace and imbued the Czech language with particular 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.’
      • ‘The Dukes' first few songs were actually pretty tame, though Danny brought in a little bite.’
      • ‘But what he will bring to the role is the bark, and bite, Brown lacks.’
      • ‘Contrasting the performance of girls and boys adds extra bite to the analysis.’
      • ‘The writer, for one, was convinced that the police drama badly needed an injection of energy and bite.’
      • ‘The politics of John Heartfield's collages and the work of the Russians in the 1920s have not lost their verve and bite.’
      • ‘The new drummer, clearly a big Keith Moon fan, added some much needed energy and bite to the songs.’
      • ‘For all that, it remained a good newspaper, with style, bite and flair and a welcome contrast to the more predictable Herald and Sun.’
    2. 3.2A feeling of cold in the air or wind.
      ‘by early October there's a bite in the air’
      • ‘The wind was picking up, and there was a small bite in the air, especially after the warmth of the library.’
      • ‘The only recluse for them is to light bonfires to fend off the bite of cold and urban people are preferring to stay indoors.’
      • ‘There was a slight bite to the wind when she stepped out of the building and she could not wait for spring.’
      • ‘The weak sunlight did nothing to diminish the cold bite of the air.’
      • ‘I had wrapped a thick quilt around myself, protecting my skin from the bite of the cold sea air.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A light drizzle permeated the foliage, and the bite of the wind pierced Clyde's windbreaker.’
      • ‘Out of the sun, though, there was still a cold bite to the air.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even through the crude padded jacket and leggings I'd made from the sacking I felt the bite of the wind.’
      • ‘It may as well have been thirty for all the headway they were making, stumbling blindly into the stinging bite of the wind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I could imagine the cold bite of the night air on my tongue and the how the snow would crunch as I walked.’
      • ‘A lovely, sunny day, though there was a bite in the wind that warranted great care in the region of the kidneys.’
      • ‘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 wind now has a bite that it did not have just a few days ago.’

Phrases

  • someone's bark is worse than their bite

    • see bark
      • ‘Crusading journalism's bark is worse than its bite.’
      • ‘If someone's bark is worse than their bite, they get angry and shout and make threats, but don't actually do anything.’
      • ‘Though he does have very strong opinions, I think his bark is worse than his bite and I hear it on good authority he can be won over.’
    • Someone's fierce and intimidating manner does not reflect their true nature.

      ‘don't worry, her bark is worse than her bite’
      • ‘Oh, don't mind him, dear, his bark is worse than his bite.’
      • ‘Her bark is worse than her bite and she is really a very nice person.’
      • ‘Some people say my bark is worse than my bite, but I say you don't want to find out.’
      • ‘There’s enough here to prove there’s still plenty of life in the old dog, it’s just that sometimes his bark is worse than his bite.’
      • ‘They are very gentle dogs, and their bark is worse than their bite.’
      • ‘While we'd never suggest that council meetings become dogfights, at Tuesday's Richmond Valley Council Cr Robert Mustow proved his bark is worse than his bite.’
      • ‘Vera is fairly harmless and the inmates and other officers come to view her as a bit of a joke, understanding that her 'bark is worse than her bite'.’
      • ‘She smiled, ‘One of the things he mentioned is that your bark is worse than your bite.’’
      • ‘She gets jealous easily and loves to gossip, but don't worry, her bark is worse than her bite.’
      • ‘While packs of dog-bite lawyers still roam free in California, here in Oregon, their bark is worse than their bite.’
      • ‘Celeste Kane claims her bark is worse than her bite while Keith, not content to let sleeping dogs lie, starts checking out Veronica's pedigree.’
      • ‘He may seem very angry but don't worry his bark is worse than his bite.’
      • ‘On protectionism, Kerry-watchers wager that his bark is worse than his bite.’
      • ‘So maybe I could turn down the confrontation a bit and you could see that my bark is worse than my bite.’
  • 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’
      • ‘Then he got bitten by the acting bug himself.’
      • ‘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?’
  • bite the big one

    • informal Die.

      ‘the Premier bit the big one, supposedly an automobile accident’
      • ‘Gather them up, give them some guns, and get them ready to bite the big one.’
      • ‘Stone was about ready to bite the big one, but some quick thinking and movements on his part turned the tables!’
      • ‘You can take a few hits that phase or stun you before biting the big one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Don't let the evildoers say that Liberty bites 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And then the CIA would be hers to rule once Dr. Collins bit the big one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      pass away, pass on, lose one's life, depart this life, expire, breathe one's last, draw one's last breath, meet one's end, meet one's death, lay down one's life, be no more, perish, be lost, go the way of the flesh, go the way of all flesh, go to glory, go to one's last resting place, go to meet one's maker, cross the great divide, cross the styx
      View synonyms
  • 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.’
      • ‘Councillors should bite the bullet and restrict traffic in such areas while providing the practical alternative.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I decided to bite the bullet and spend the money to rebuild her engine.’
      • ‘So we decided to bite the bullet, return to Akihabara and buy our own webcam so I could forget the whole office nonsense.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So I decided to bite the bullet and ring them again, something I was previously determined not to do.’
      • ‘We decided to bite the bullet, and implement the scheme in order to raise standards, for the sake of Merton's children.’
  • bite the dust

    • 1informal Be killed.

      ‘the baddies bite the dust with lead in their bellies’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had started seed last summer and put out some transplants last fall, and they bit the dust with our harsh winter.’
      • ‘Expect doors bashed open, a rapid burst of gunfire and another bomber biting 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Perhaps, after spending a century or so biting the dust in Hollywood films, these native Americans are happy to be playing the good guys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It does not change the fact that another youth bites the dust to a druglord's greed and disregard for the value of life.’
      die, pass away, pass on, expire, decease, perish, depart this life, be no more, breathe one's last, draw one's last breath, meet one's end, meet one's death, meet one's maker, give up the ghost, go to the great beyond, cross the great divide, shuffle off this mortal coil, go the way of all flesh, go the way of the flesh, go to one's last resting place
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Fail or come to an end.
        ‘she hoped the new course would not bite the dust for lack of funding’
        • ‘And what about those million black-owned businesses that might bite the dust because of the dreaded estate tax?’
        • ‘Like so many of my dreams, another one bites the dust.’
        • ‘We know what happens when robust journalism bites the dust.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Also biting the dust will be the Metropole's ballroom and other rooms, centres of many late night jazz festival gigs and other functions.’
        • ‘Every month another one bites the dust or news filters through of a fresh closure looming.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘And so a fine conservative website/blog bites the dust.’
        • ‘But as one blog bites the dust, another appears, and you know, at some blogs they do things differently.’
        • ‘By the time DOS bit the dust in the fall of 2001, the company whose growth it ignited was valued at $341 billion.’
        fail, be unsuccessful, not succeed, lack success, fall through, fall flat, break down, abort, miscarry, be defeated, suffer defeat, be in vain, be frustrated, collapse, founder, misfire, backfire, not come up to scratch, meet with disaster, come to grief, come to nothing, come to naught, miss the mark, run aground, go astray
        View synonyms
  • bite the hand that feeds one

    • Deliberately hurt or offend a benefactor.

      • ‘But I wouldn't write anything to lift the lid on the fashion industry - it would be biting the hand that feeds me.’
      • ‘Aunt Marthy's passive hopefulness is problematic for Linda but critiquing it would be to bite the hand that feeds and inspires her.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is surely irrational 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.’
      • ‘But the BBC is apparently about to set a new standard for biting the hand that feeds it.’
      • ‘It's funny to hear a filmmaker bite the hand that feeds.’
      • ‘The suggestion that somehow we are biting the hand that feeds us is absolute nonsense.’
      • ‘And then its more prophetic voice might be muted or silenced because it doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds.’
      • ‘But is it the best strategy for a consumer brand to bite the hand that feeds?’
  • bite someone's head off

  • 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.’
      • ‘The girl beside him had bitten her lip to keep from crying out loud.’
      • ‘I bit my lip and forced myself to be calm.’
      • ‘She bit her lip; suddenly realizing she'd used the term "amazing" a lot since arriving in London.’
      • ‘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.’
  • bite one's nails

    • Chew at one's nails as a nervous habit.

      ‘I used to bite my 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I get really nervous before recording and I start biting my nails.’
      • ‘If all else fails, try a bad tasting nail paint, specially formulated to put children off biting their 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All I can say is I stopped biting my nails, a lifelong habit, only after I said that final goodbye to him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Parents must keep their children away from unsterile food and prevent such habits as biting their nails.’
  • 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’
      • ‘Tell them that you were just anxious to be as open as possible and maybe you bit off more than you could chew.’
      • ‘Don't bite off more than you can chew.’
      • ‘If you're hoofing or riding roundtrip, don't bite off more than you can chew.’
      • ‘Jack joked about biting off more than you can chew, and held out a smaller hand than Carol's.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The problem isn't tennis; it's biting off more than you can chew and trying to swallow it in one big gulp.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While biting off more than one can chew is arduous, the practice concept is necessary.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 tongue

    • Make a desperate effort to avoid saying something.

      ‘I had to bite my tongue and accept his explanation’
      • ‘For example, when one of the recurring characters gets into a huge fight with her two-timing boyfriend, Touma found himself biting his tongue.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My friend looked over at me, biting his tongue and furrowing his eyebrows.’
      • ‘She bit her tongue in a large effort not to say what had floated across her mind.’
      • ‘I spent a lot of time biting my tongue, which isn't easy for me.’
      • ‘Parents should bite their tongue and make an effort to get along with a teacher.’
      • ‘Start spreadin' the news… loudly and without biting your tongue: New York shall rise again, not through war, but by speech.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 I did, I could have bitten my tongue off, but she just laughed and said, ‘I already had that figured out.’’
      • ‘As soon as he had uttered the question, he could have bitten his tongue off.’
  • once bitten, twice shy

    • An unpleasant experience induces caution.

      • ‘For him, however, it was not a case of 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There will be an element of once bitten, twice shy with investors who will shy away from going back into equities.’
      • ‘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.’
  • put the bite on

    • informal Borrow or extort money from.

      ‘a deadbeat diner tried to put the bite on a restaurant’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘You invite me here for a bite to eat, and I end up putting the bite on you,’ he told a business lunch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Damn, I thought, putting the bite on me for food money.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • take a bite out of

    • informal Reduce by a significant amount.

      ‘commissions that can take a bite out of your retirement funds’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Expansion into New York takes a bite out of Pret A Manger profits.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is not clear precisely how long that period was, but it clearly takes a bite out of that 9 month period.’
      • ‘They want to see the police taking a bite out of the crime situation.’
      • ‘Distribution costs take a bite out of the revenue, as does the cost of the Red Hat Network sub.’
      • ‘Energy costs are taking a bite out of household budgets, especially for lower-income families.’
      • ‘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.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • bite something back

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

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

bite

/bʌɪt/