Definition of bite in US English:

bite

verbbitten, bit

[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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He seemed to eat the liquid as though it were meat, biting it and chewing, then swallowing.’
    • ‘Raine glanced up, biting another piece of his French toast.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As she lay unconscious, part of her nose, her mouth and chin were bitten off by her Labrador-cross dog, Tania.’
    • ‘The next time your all set to bite into a succulent Fish, think Yana Gupta.’
    • ‘My hope is that a consumer, when they bite into them, will combine their personal memory with that peach.’
    • ‘I'm sitting here in social studies biting my pencil like a hamster.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Absently biting my pen, I silently read over what I'd just written.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She blushed after realizing how foolish she must look and chewed what she had before biting another piece.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Consumers can't wait to bite into them because the little extra cooking required to finish them off makes for a better-tasting bagel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    sink one's teeth into, chew, munch, crunch, champ, tear at, masticate, eat
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Use 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She told me that, without any warning, the cat had jumped on her, scratched her, and bitten her in the right arm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The idea was shelved when the foxes kept biting their handlers and eventually chewed through their enclosures and escaped.’
      • ‘A local hunter put the dog down but it was thought to have bitten at least 12 children and adults.’
      • ‘Data from the East Kalimantan health office shows there were at least 11 cases of residents bitten by dogs recorded between July and August.’
      • ‘She had a history of contact with both dogs and cats; however, she did not recall being bitten or scratched.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cat-scratch disease is an infection that occurs after your child was scratched or bitten by a cat.’
      • ‘One officer suffered minor injuries after being bitten on the hand.’
      • ‘Then the bear bit his leg, sinking a tooth all the way to the femur bone.’
      • ‘He learns that there are times when it is right to bite a man.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2with object (of a snake, insect, or spider) wound with fangs, pincers, or a sting.
      ‘she was bitten by an adder’
      • ‘When you've been bitten by a snake, you're leery of a lizard.’
      • ‘The pedigree puppy, which cost $800, is believed to have been bitten by a spider, and has a rash around her neck.’
      • ‘Once bitten by a snake you feel suspicious even when you see a piece of rope.’
      • ‘The Krait bite is much less obvious and it is very difficult for people to know that they have been bitten at all.’
      • ‘He was a great student, especially after he had his leg amputated from being bitten by a snake in Africa on holiday.’
      • ‘The most important role played by the snake charmers is in treating people who have been bitten by snakes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Both apparently got bitten by snakes while fleeing through the sand dunes at Pearly Beach last month, and died.’
      • ‘He had been bitten by a spider in Brazil, which probably lowered his immunity, and further tests showed that he was HIV positive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The female mosquitoes become the bloodsuckers, and they use their long proboscis to bite other animals and feed on their blood.’
      • ‘I got bitten by another spider last night while I was asleep.’
      • ‘People who have been bitten by a snake are afraid of garden hoses at first glance.’
      • ‘It has led, among other things, to his being bitten by a snake and several times by scorpions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All over the world, people come in with wounds and think they've been bitten by a spider.’
      puncture, prick, pierce, sting, wound
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 (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.’
      corrode, eat into, eat away at, wear away, burn, burn into, etch, erode, dissolve, destroy, consume
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (of a fish) take the bait or lure on the end of a fishing line into the mouth.
      • ‘Although the first thought is generally to catch the bass biting at the very onset of spring or the blues running in autumn.’
      • ‘When the fish aren't biting, I want to listen to her tell me what makes her happy and what makes her cry.’
      • ‘It was late in the afternoon and the water in the pool was warm and the fish were biting well.’
      • ‘Interestingly, fish were biting and many were caught in river and sea.’
      • ‘We were fishing, and all of the fish were biting on one side of the boat.’
      • ‘His ultimate goal is to get as many fish biting on his line as he can.’
      • ‘I recommend you have a day visiting this world famous Space Centre even if the fish are biting madly.’
      • ‘So now here I am, with no fish biting, a rain storm on its way, and my foot hurts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Which is why spots where the fish are biting still get crowded.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now is the time to launch the real bait over the side of the boat and see how the fish are biting.’
      • ‘They will attack the bait and confuse you into thinking that a ‘proper’ fish is biting.’
      • ‘But if I had to, I would go fishing even if the fish weren't biting.’
      • ‘Bowing towards the water, I indicated that the horses might like to drink and that the fish were not biting anyway.’
      • ‘Frank told everyone at dinner that he will try to put people ashore at 8 in the morning, unless the fish are biting.’
      • ‘He'll get away from it briefly when it's goose season in his native Nebraska or when the fish are biting somewhere.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Being evening, the fish were biting beautifully, and he caught three decent-sized trout in only about half of an hour.’
    5. 1.5informal (of a person) be persuaded to accept a deal or offer.
      ‘a hundred or so retailers should bite’
      • ‘I keep getting subscription invitations from Walrus magazine, and got one from Geist too, but I haven't bitten yet.’
      • ‘Given this setup - and it's typical in energy partnerships - why would any investor bite?’
      • ‘The Yanks' rightfielder wasn't biting at Araton's line of reasoning.’
      • ‘AMD's revival of the concept targets a new audience, one more likely to bite than Western consumers.’
      • ‘If retailers bite, licensing could feasibly extend anywhere that makes sense for the brand's lifestyle positioning.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then low ball every doctor in the area until some physician or physician group bites.’
      • ‘A dangling carrot for public consumption… assuming we get the opportunity to bite before it's snatched away.’
      • ‘No matter how tempting customized products may sound, consumers don't always bite when it comes to buying them online.’
      • ‘But the reporter had bitten, says Mike, hook, line and sinker.’
      • ‘Despite efforts on the business end, consumers just didn't bite.’
      accept, go for it, agree, respond
      View synonyms
  • 2(of a tool, tire, boot, etc.) grip a surface.

    ‘once on the wet grass, my boots failed to bite’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘The truck shuddered as the rear wheels spun wildly on the asphalt, then leapt forwards as the tires bit into the road.’
    • ‘First he got the saw to bite into it one way and then another so he could make a sort of divot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once in the shelter of the bay, the skipping engine bites deeper into the calmer waters, and the ship picks up speed.’
    • ‘Start slow with this drill - you want to feel the edge biting into the snow and you want to feel controlled.’
    • ‘He had an old, discoloured ball, just the sort that's ready to grip and bite, in his hand.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With a gasp, Guiromélans lands on the blades, feeling their edges bite into the soles of his boots.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He pressed it forward slightly and Adam winced as it bit into the tender flesh on his throat.’
      • ‘The steel bandings bit into his hands, and he slid down its length, crashing into the cart below.’
      • ‘I grabbed her hand to pull her up, wincing as her numerous rings bit into my fingers.’
      • ‘Barth clung to his bit of splintered wood, it bit into his arms and fingers, his eyes were open but turned inwards.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It exploded in a mass of fiery shards that bit into him, but he was unstoppable.’
      • ‘Viro continued to swim madly for the near riverbank, the twine biting deep into his wrists.’
    2. 2.2 Cause emotional pain.
      ‘Cheryl's betrayal had bitten deep’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These are staggering figures and have bitten deep into the British soul.’
    3. 2.3 (of a policy or situation) take effect, with unpleasant consequences.
      ‘when the cuts in art education start to 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.’
      • ‘Lately, however, Charlotte had noticed that her absences from school were biting deeper into her grades than she had previously thought.’
      • ‘The pressures were starting to bite even before the long term effects of foot and mouth spread into the sector.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, he said the anticipated knock-on effect of the hunting ban would not bite for a few years.’
      • ‘It took a while for the effects to kick in but, when they did, they bit deep.’
      • ‘Because they are New York too - except that there the economic crisis is biting, and shopping is something other people do.’
      • ‘One in 10 primary school pupils could be taught by unqualified teachers from September as severe staff shortages bite.’
      • ‘Reality has bitten with a vengeance for Australia's dominant telecommunications company.’
      • ‘The deeper the policies bite, the greater the casualties.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now we have a stark reminder that this law is serious, that it can bite, and that its effect is undeniably discriminatory.’
      • ‘As the effects of the drought were biting deeper, production at Blinman was also slowed down.’
      • ‘The 19th cent. saw the British merchant navy at its strongest before international competition had bitten deep.’
      • ‘For other local institutions, including the Women's Museum, budget cuts will doubtlessly bite deeper.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The education funding crisis is set to bite again in September as a survey reveals one in five schools have spent their cash reserves.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It bites that hockey-loving kids are denied their seasonal TV fix.’
      • ‘If it's not fun then it just bites...right?’
      • ‘I am trying so hard and it bites that I can't really get to the gym consistently.’

noun

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

    ‘Stephen ate a hot dog in three big bites’
    • ‘She chattered between bites of food about the most random things.’
    • ‘But the pizza came so I only got bits and pieces of the story in between bites.’
    • ‘I held one out in my hand and the donkey ate it in big bites.’
    • ‘Hungry, tired, was all Rei could say in between bites of food.’
    • ‘And again, after three bites (which effectively finishes the burrito), I tasted no extra onions.’
    • ‘Another bite reveals the earthy flavours of the Swiss Chard leaves, followed by a piece of crunchy apple.’
    • ‘It looks good from the outside, but a firm bite reveals a cold and gooey center.’
    • ‘He eats his food in small bites, but with manic speed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I left the cobbler alone after three bites and ate a handful of hush puppies for dessert.’
    • ‘After two bites of anything, one is eating out of rote, obligation, or need for fuel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He runs his hand through his hair before eating his piece in two bites.’
    • ‘A few well aimed bites and the bag is shredded, the catnip is everywhere, and you have a wonderful mess to sweep up.’
    • ‘After two bites of her fish, Marsha commented that it had a strange taste.’
    • ‘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.’
    mouthful, piece, morsel, bit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A wound inflicted by an animal's or a person's teeth.
      ‘Perry's dog had given her a nasty bite’
      • ‘Not only can rats inflict a nasty bite, they are associated with disease.’
      • ‘Domestic pets are the source of most non-insect animal bites.’
      • ‘Wash any animal bites or scratches with soap and water and see a doctor if the wound seems serious.’
      • ‘Infections may result from animal or human bites to the hand, but steps can be taken to minimize the chance of that occurring.’
      • ‘Deep puncture wounds from animal bites become morbid if not promptly tended and closely followed.’
      • ‘Rabies is an invariably fatal viral disease caused by the bite of an infected animal, usually a dog.’
      • ‘Almost one half of all dog bites involve an animal owned by the victim's family or neighbors.’
      • ‘If an animal bites or is vicious it is put to sleep so why let any convicted murderer roam our streets?’
      • ‘The disease is spread by the bites of infected animals.’
      • ‘Only a fifth of recent cases had a story of an animal bite and in some of these the infection occurred abroad.’
      • ‘They have short, sharp teeth but their bite can barely puncture human skin.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Animal and human bites can be treated most effectively with amoxicillin-clavulanate.’
      • ‘The gator pulled her under water and inflicted severe bites on her arms, legs and midsection.’
      • ‘Any bite from an animal, particularly dog, cat, monkey or bat, should be treated as a possible rabies risk.’
      • ‘Human beings, on the other hand, have the foulest mouths in the animal kingdom and their bites are always septic.’
      • ‘Snappers strike viciously when lifted from water or teased and can inflict a serious bite.’
      • ‘If the wound was caused by an animal bite, you should report it to the county public health department.’
      • ‘Any animal bites - even those that don't involve rabies - can lead to infections and other medical problems.’
      • ‘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.’
      nip, snap, chew, munch, nibble, gnaw
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A wound inflicted by a snake, insect, or spider.
      ‘his face was covered in 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.’
      • ‘Just as important as malaria prophylaxis is avoiding mosquito bites with insect repellents, impregnated mosquito nets, and suitable clothing.’
      • ‘By this time he was suffering from insect bites - the prison was infested with them - that were turning septic.’
      • ‘When we visited this centre I pointed out the possibility of dry bites by venomous snakes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The swamps are infested with poisonous snakes and fearsome insects with bites so strong they will either kill a man or drive him mad.’
      • ‘The child, half naked, was covered n mosquito bites.’
      • ‘Both victims' symptoms point to some sort of venomous reaction, possibly from a snake or spider bite.’
      • ‘The street here is quiet, but our kid is especially sensitive to insect bites.’
      • ‘Aardvarks are covered with thick pinkish-grey skin that protects them from insect bites and may even save them from predators.’
      • ‘Summer means hay fever, insect bites and sunburn.’
      • ‘Individual sores or insect bites can be dabbed directly with lavender oil.’
      • ‘Check your children for ticks, insect bites and allergic reactions.’
      • ‘In the field they carry a medical kit which includes morphine, antibiotics, diarrhoea pills, field dressings and antihistamines for insect bites or allergies.’
      • ‘A team of Italian doctors has recently developed a new treatment for leishmaniasis, a skin disease contracted through insect bites.’
      • ‘An insect bite isn't an unreasonable wound to suffer, after the rough three weeks they've all gone through.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She said the temperatures were above 100F, the soldiers were covered in mosquito bites and had no electricity or clean water.’
      • ‘All were covered with insect bites, were underfed, and three had malaria.’
      puncture, prick, sting, wound
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 An instance of bait being taken by a fish.
      ‘by four o'clock he still hadn't had a single bite’
      • ‘This way you can fish the lift method, but minimise false bites caused by fish bumping against too vertical a line.’
      • ‘I started off fishing 20 ft out and had no bites for the first hour.’
      • ‘Lifting the rod from its rest, as guided by Dave, he pointed the tip at the fish and waited for the bite to develop.’
      • ‘All the fish gave really violent bites and virtually hooked themselves.’
      • ‘I fished on for some thirty minutes without a bite then changed over to lobworm, still no success.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Baiting with a big chunk of meat I fished on for half an hour or so without a bite.’
      • ‘Thus line can be given if it is pulled by swings of the boat and sudden bites from taking fish.’
      • ‘The only odd thing about fishing for orfe in very cold conditions with bottom baits is the bites.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's very strong, has little stretch and helps to magnify the bites even from small fish.’
      • ‘At exactly the same time we both had a bite and we both hooked good fish.’
      • ‘The fish were aggressive, and the bite was on spinnerbaits, a personal favorite.’
      • ‘Huss bites almost feel like the fish are knocking on the door.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The tackle had performed well and had converted every bite into a fish on the bank.’
      • ‘Persevere with the worm for an hour or so and if no bites are forthcoming then start experimenting with bait.’
      • ‘Quite exciting fishing it was, the bites really slamming the rods down.’
      • ‘With all our sub-surface fishing the bites had to be ‘sensed’ as much as seen or felt.’
      • ‘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.’
      gnaw, peck, taste
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Dentistry The bringing together of the teeth in occlusion.
      • ‘As that happens, the dental splint is adjusted to maintain the perfect bite.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 1.5Dentistry The imprint of the teeth in occlusion 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 wax bite is removed and chilled for a moment in cold water.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A piece cut off by biting.

    ‘Robyn took a large bite out of her sandwich’
    • ‘She took a big bite out of it; a look of pure bliss coming to her face as she slowly swallowed it.’
    • ‘Grady pulled out a muffin and took a big bite out of it.’
    • ‘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 broke the bread in half, replacing the bigger portion to the tray and took a bite of the piece she held.’
    • ‘He rolled his eyes and took another piece out, taking a bite.’
    • ‘The boy took a big bite of chicken and gulped down the last of the wine.’
    • ‘He swallowed his big bite of hamburger and moved the pages of his English homework he'd been studying.’
    • ‘Yorant took a big bite of bread, chewed slowly and swallowed.’
    • ‘In any case, it is somewhat too big a bite to swallow at once.’
    • ‘Raine took a big bite out of it, smiling as she did so.’
    • ‘He took a big bite of cookie, then looked curiously at the man before him.’
    • ‘He picked up a piece of toast and took a deliberate bite.’
    • ‘Jerin shook her head and took a big bite out of one.’
    • ‘Suzie exclaimed as she took a big bite out of her fried egg sandwich.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I glared at her while taking a bite of the scrumptious piece of buttered and toasted bread.’
    • ‘Lady Hammer smiled, taking a bite from her own piece of the sweet bread.’
    • ‘I asked, grabbing a piece of toast and taking a satisfying bite.’
    • ‘He reached in, pulled out a chocolate square and took a big bite.’
    1. 2.1informal A quick snack.
      ‘I plan to stop off in the village and have a bite to eat’
      • ‘Off to my favourite restaurant now for a bite to eat.’
      • ‘We're in a pub, drinking, and having 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.’
      • ‘I'm going to get me a bite to eat and get back to work.’
      • ‘Soak in the sunlight for a bit in Rembrandt Square and then go have 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.’
      • ‘A mighty night for all concerned with all present having a bite to eat and then dancing the night away into the early hours!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tara's nose tuned into smell of breakfast and decided to go downstairs to get a bite to eat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We stopped to stretch our legs and get 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.’
      • ‘Here in the tea stalls of Islamabad, crowds gather at lunchtime for a bite to eat.’
      • ‘I head over to the snack table hoping for a bite to eat as I see none other then Aiden there.’
      • ‘At 2,635 what better place to rest awhile and enjoy a bite to eat.’
      • ‘Afterwards, we had a bite to eat at a place in Uptown.’
      • ‘Since it was lunch time, my parents decided to grab a bite to eat at a well-known Mexican place called El Cholo.’
      snack, light meal, something to eat, mouthful, soupçon, nibbles, titbit, savoury, appetizer
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 A 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 were even a few bites of fresh strawberry on the side.’
      • ‘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.’
      mouthful, piece, morsel, bit
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 A short piece of information.
      • ‘With a large cast on his hands, Whedon had to give audiences a sense of each character in short, economic bites.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These passages are just too short: they will make you wish for a bigger bite.’
  • 3A sharp or pungent flavor.

    ‘a fresh, lemony bite’
    • ‘The heat takes the bite out of the onion while still providing loads of flavour.’
    • ‘This Australian bottling offers a hint of sweetness that's backed up with a little lemony bite and lots of fruit flavor.’
    • ‘It's consistency and taste changed with the month, but the spicy bite and numbing effects were the same.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Spaniard insists on only being occasionally surprised by a piquant bite of hot pepper.’
    • ‘It was a dark, deep chocolate truffle with a very distinct bite of fresh black pepper.’
    • ‘Shivers go down your spine and you shake your head at the refreshing but zesty and sharp bite of the limejuice - oooph!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sherry vinegar brightens salad dressings with a sharp bite of purple grapes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The prawns were top quality with a real bite and flavour that carried through the spicy sauce.’
    • ‘The gin is assertive, woody, a pungent mouthful, with the bite of alcohol and aromatics.’
    • ‘You need some bite to distinguish the flavours, which is exactly what was delivered here.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It has a crisp taste, a small bite, a mellow finish, and it plays well with others, i.e. the incomparable Yucatan beer Leon.’
    • ‘A slightly oxidised finish adds bite to the rich palate.’
    • ‘Red cabbage and lentils offered just the right contrast of flavours and bite, but the red wine jus was a little too rich.’
    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 Incisiveness or cogency of style.
      ‘his colorful characterizations brought added bite to the story’
      • ‘Her involvement, her interest gives the article bite.’
      • ‘Contrasting the performance of girls and boys adds extra bite to the analysis.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘IWT also promises that ‘complex issues will be addressed with energy, bite and wit.’’
      • ‘His tale of isolation and illusion is a beautifully written story with a hidden, subtle bite.’
      • ‘But what he will bring to the role is the bark, and bite, Brown lacks.’
      • ‘The poems have a variety of voices and characters, which give them their great colloquial 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 writer, for one, was convinced that the police drama badly needed an injection of energy and bite.’
      • ‘That said, the story lacks the classic satiric or thematic bite of a Shakespearean or Molierian work.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her voice has a sharp delicious bite onstage that isn't as apparent on their albums.’
      • ‘The Dukes' first few songs were actually pretty tame, though Danny brought in a little 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 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.’
      • ‘The supporting stories have a much sharper bite, including a return to his painfully confessional autobiographical style.’
      • ‘The balance problems are never convincingly solved by conductor Paul Gambill, and the playing throughout lacks rhythmic bite and sparkle.’
      • ‘She surmounted the role's many difficulties with ease and grace and imbued the Czech language with particular bite.’
      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
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2 A feeling of cold in the air or wind.
      ‘by early October there's a bite in the air’
      • ‘A lovely, sunny day, though there was a bite in the wind that warranted great care in the region of the kidneys.’
      • ‘I had wrapped a thick quilt around myself, protecting my skin from the bite of the cold sea air.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even through the crude padded jacket and leggings I'd made from the sacking I felt the bite of the wind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A light drizzle permeated the foliage, and the bite of the wind pierced Clyde's windbreaker.’
      • ‘The wind now has a bite that it did not have just a few days ago.’
      • ‘The wind was picking up, and there was a small bite in the air, especially after the warmth of the library.’
      • ‘Out of the sun, though, there was still a cold bite to the air.’
      • ‘I could imagine the cold bite of the night air on my tongue and the how the snow would crunch as I walked.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It may as well have been thirty for all the headway they were making, stumbling blindly into the stinging bite of the wind.’

Phrases

  • be bitten by the — bug

    • Develop a passionate interest in a specified activity.

      ‘Joe was 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.

      • ‘Stone was about ready to bite the big one, but some quick thinking and movements on his part turned the tables!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Don't let the evildoers say that Liberty bites the big one.’
      • ‘You can take a few hits that phase or stun you before biting the big one.’
      • ‘And then the CIA would be hers to rule once Dr. Collins bit the big one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Gather them up, give them some guns, and get them ready to bite the big one.’
      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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But now I have decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.’
      • ‘Finally Shyam bit the bullet and decided to get the fumigation done.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Councillors should bite the bullet and restrict traffic in such areas while providing the practical alternative.’
      • ‘I decided to bite the bullet, discuss the fumble, and, in the process, learned a valuable lesson.’
      • ‘So we decided to bite the bullet, return to Akihabara and buy our own webcam so I could forget the whole office nonsense.’
      • ‘I decided to bite the bullet and spend the money to rebuild her engine.’
  • bite the dust

    • 1informal Be killed.

      ‘and the bad guys bite the dust with lead in their bellies’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Perhaps, after spending a century or so biting the dust in Hollywood films, these native Americans are happy to be playing the good guys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And whole nations of bad guys would bite 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 program 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.’
        • ‘We know what happens when robust journalism bites the dust.’
        • ‘Also biting the dust will be the Metropole's ballroom and other rooms, centres of many late night jazz festival gigs and other functions.’
        • ‘And what about those million black-owned businesses that might bite the dust because of the dreaded estate tax?’
        • ‘And so a fine conservative website/blog bites the dust.’
        • ‘Every month another one bites the dust or news filters through of a fresh closure looming.’
        • ‘Like so many of my dreams, another one 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.’
        • ‘But as one blog bites the dust, another appears, and you know, at some blogs they do things differently.’
        • ‘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.’
        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.

      • ‘And then its more prophetic voice might be muted or silenced because it doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 is it the best strategy for a consumer brand 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is surely irrational to bite the hand that feeds.’
      • ‘But I wouldn't write anything to lift the lid on the fashion industry - it would be biting the hand that feeds me.’
  • 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’
  • bite one's lip

    • Repress an emotion; stifle laughter or repress a retort.

      ‘he could have mocked Carol's obnoxious behavior, but he bit his lip’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She bit her lip; suddenly realizing she'd used the term "amazing" a lot since arriving in London.’
      • ‘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.’
  • bite off more than one can chew

    • Take on a commitment one cannot fulfill.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jack joked about biting off more than you can chew, and held out a smaller hand than Carol's.’
      • ‘Tell them that you were just anxious to be as open as possible and maybe you bit off more than you could chew.’
      • ‘‘Boy,’ snickered one of the councilors, ‘despite your victory against Ignus, I think you're biting off more than you can chew here.’’
      • ‘Don't bite off more than you can chew.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you're hoofing or riding roundtrip, 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.’
      • ‘While biting off more than one can chew is arduous, the practice concept is necessary.’
      • ‘The problem isn't tennis; it's biting off more than you can chew and trying to swallow it in one big gulp.’
  • bite one's tongue

    • Make a desperate effort to avoid saying something.

      ‘I had to bite my tongue and accept his explanation’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Start spreadin' the news… loudly and without biting your tongue: New York shall rise again, not through war, but by speech.’
      • ‘For example, when one of the recurring characters gets into a huge fight with her two-timing boyfriend, Touma found himself biting his tongue.’
      • ‘She bit her tongue in a large effort not to say what had floated across her mind.’
      • ‘Parents should bite their tongue and make an effort to get along with a teacher.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘I spent a lot of time biting my tongue, which isn't easy for me.’
      • ‘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 show that someone profoundly and immediately regrets having said something.

      • ‘Even as the question left my lips, 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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He cried, and the next instant could have bitten his tongue off for the childish vanity of the speech.’
      • ‘After the word was out I could have bitten my tongue off.’
      • ‘There was one of those horrible silences when I could have bitten my tongue off.’
  • once bitten, twice shy

    • proverb An unpleasant experience induces caution.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For him, however, it was not a case of 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.’
      • ‘I would never have believed the pictures had I not seen them, and 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.

      • ‘‘You invite me here for a bite to eat, and I end up putting the bite on you,’ he told a business lunch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      compel, coerce, make, constrain, oblige, impel, drive, necessitate, pressurize, pressure, press, push
      View synonyms
  • take a bite out of

    • informal Reduce by a significant amount.

      ‘insurance costs 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Energy costs are taking a bite out of household budgets, especially for lower-income families.’
      • ‘Distribution costs take a bite out of the revenue, as does the cost of the Red Hat Network sub.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • bite something back

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

      ‘Melissa bit back a scathing comment’
      • ‘She bit the sobs back but the tears came anyway, staining her cheeks and the pillow beneath her.’
      • ‘He felt a pang of guilt at his deception, but bit it back.’
      • ‘I was going to retort with some scathing sarcasm, but I bit it back for one reason.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘John's harsh tone took him by surprise but he bit a sharp reply back.’
      • ‘Reuben felt tears stinging his eyes, but he bit them back.’
      restrain, hold back, keep back, hold in, repress, suppress, fight back, bite back, keep in check, check, control, keep under control, rein in, keep a tight rein on, contain, discipline, govern, bridle, tame, subdue, stifle, smother, swallow, choke back, muzzle, silence, muffle, strangle, gag
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

bite

/baɪt//bīt/