bite
Pronunciation
  • enPR: bīt, IPA: /baɪt/
  • (CA, regional US) IPA: /bʌɪt/
Verb

bite (bites, present participle biting; past bit, past participle bitten)

  1. (transitive) To cut into something by clamping the teeth.
    As soon as you bite that sandwich, you'll know how good it is.
  2. (transitive) To hold something by clamping one's teeth.
  3. (intransitive) To attack with the teeth.
    That dog is about to bite!
  4. (intransitive) To behave aggressively; to reject advances.
    If you see me, come and say hello. I don't bite.
  5. (intransitive) To take hold; to establish firm contact with.
    I needed snow chains to make the tires bite.
  6. (intransitive) To have significant effect, often negative.
    For homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages, rising interest will really bite.
  7. (intransitive, of a fish) To bite a baited hook or other lure and thus be caught.
    Are the fish biting today?
  8. (intransitive, metaphor) To accept something offered, often secretly or deceptively, to cause some action by the acceptor.
    I've planted the story. Do you think they'll bite?
  9. (intransitive, transitive, of an insect) To sting.
    These mosquitoes are really biting today!
  10. (intransitive) To cause a smarting sensation; to have a property which causes such a sensation; to be pungent.
    It bites like pepper or mustard.
  11. (transitive, sometimes, figurative) To cause sharp pain or damage to; to hurt or injure.
    Pepper bites the mouth.
    • c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
      Frosts do bite the meads.
  12. (intransitive) To cause sharp pain; to produce anguish; to hurt or injure; to have the property of so doing.
    • , Proverbs xxiii. 32
      At the last it [wine] biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
  13. (intransitive) To take or keep a firm hold.
    The anchor bites.
  14. (transitive) To take hold of; to hold fast; to adhere to.
    The anchor bites the ground.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, chapter 23, in A Tale of Two Cities, book
      , London: Chapman and Hall, […], OCLC 906152507 ↗:
The last screw of the rack having been turned so often that its purchase crumbled, […] it turned and turned with nothing to bite.
  • (intransitive, slang) To lack quality; to be worthy of derision; to suck.
    This music really bites.
  • (transitive, informal, vulgar) To perform oral sex on. Used in invective.
    You don't like that I sat on your car? Bite me.
  • (intransitive, AAVE, slang) To plagiarize, to imitate.
    He always be biting my moves.
  • (obsolete) To deceive or defraud; to take in.
  • Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

    bite (plural bites)

    1. The act of bite#Verb|biting.
      • I have known a very good fisher angle diligently four or six hours for a river carp, and not have a bite.
    2. The wound left behind after having been bitten.
      That snake bite really hurts!
    3. The swelling of one's skin caused by an insect's mouthparts or sting.
      After just one night in the jungle I was covered with mosquito bites.
    4. A piece of food of a size that would be produced by bite#Verb|biting; a mouthful.
      There were only a few bites left on the plate.
    5. (slang) Something unpleasant.
      That's really a bite!
    6. (slang) An act of plagiarism.
      That song is a bite of my song!
    7. A small meal or snack.
      I'll have a quick bite to quiet my stomach until dinner.
    8. (figuratively) aggression
    9. The hold which the short end of a lever has upon the thing to be lifted, or the hold which one part of a machine has upon another.
    10. (colloquial, dated) A cheat; a trick; a fraud.
      • The baser methods of getting money by fraud and bite, by deceiving and overreaching.
    11. (colloquial, dated, slang) A sharper; one who cheats.
    12. (printing) A blank on the edge or corner of a page, owing to a portion of the frisket, or something else, intervening between the type and paper.
    13. (slang) A cut, a proportion of profits; an amount of money.
      • 1951, William S. Burroughs, in Harris (ed.), Letters 1945–59, Penguin 2009, p. 92:
        I know three Americans who are running a bar. The cops come in all the time for a bite.
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