bite off

bite off

  1. (transitive, idiomatic, sometimes followed by on) To accept or commit oneself to a task, project, notion, or responsibility, especially one which presents challenges.
    • 1967 July 28, "[,9171,837113,00.html Actresses: Hayley at 21]," Time:
      In between what she called the "goody-good" or "frilly-knickers" Hollywood films, she bit off some more demanding parts back home.
    • 1988 Dec. 29, Steve Lohr, "Risk Inherited at Finnish Concern ↗," New York Times (retrieved 4 July 2011):
      "And for the next couple of years, with Nokia having bitten off so much, Vuorilehto is the right guy for the task they face."
    • 2006 Jan. 4, Natalie Pace, "Q&A: MySpace Founders Chris DeWolfe And Tom Anderson ↗," Forbes (retrieved 4 July 2011):
      We have set a plan that we believe everyone at News Corp. will bite off on.
    • 2009 Oct. 28, "Healthcare reform: Trigger Unhappy ↗," Newsweek (retrieved 4 July 2011):
      They think it's politically too much for the government to bite off right now.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To acquire, especially in an abrupt or forceful manner.
    • 1997, Anthony Spaeth, "[ And Here the Twain Shall Meet]," Time, Special Issue—Hong Kong 1997:
      To thicken that buffer zone Britain joined other powers in biting off larger chunks of China.
    • 2007 March 26, Laurie J. Flynn, "Maker of Mobile Games Brings Line to BlackBerry ↗," New York Times (retrieved 4 July 2011):
      For R.I.M. to bite off just a tiny piece of that market would help it grow considerably.
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