Definition of bite something back in US English:

bite something back

phrasal verb

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

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