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    (bt)v. bit (bt), bit·ten (btn) or bit, bit·ing, bites To cut, grip, or tear with or as if with the teeth.

    2. a. To pierce the skin of with the teeth, fangs, or mouthparts.

    b. To sting with a stinger.

    3. To cut into with or as if with a sharp instrument: The ax bit the log deeply.

    4. To grip, grab, or seize: bald treads that couldn't bite the icy road; bitten by a sudden desire to travel.

    5. To eat into; corrode.

    6. To cause to sting or be painful: cold that bites the skin; a conscience bitten by remorse.

    v.intr.1. To grip, cut into, or injure something with or as if with the teeth.

    2. To have a stinging effect.

    3. To have a sharp taste.

    4. To take or swallow bait.

    5. To be taken in by a ploy or deception: tried to sell the Brooklyn Bridge, but no one bit.

    6. Vulgar Slang To be highly disagreeable or annoying.

    n.1. The act of biting.

    2. A skin wound or puncture produced by an animal's teeth or mouthparts: the bite of an insect.

    3. a. A stinging or smarting sensation.

    b. An incisive, penetrating quality: the bite of satire.

    4. An amount removed by or as if by an act of biting: Rezoning took a bite out of the town's residential area.

    5. An excerpt or fragment taken from something larger, such as a film.

    6. a. An amount of food taken into the mouth at one time; a mouthful.

    b. Informal A light meal or snack.

    7. The act or an instance of taking bait: fished all day without a bite; an ad that got a few bites but no final sales.

    8. a. A secure grip or hold applied by a tool or machine upon a working surface.

    b. The part of a tool or machine that presses against and maintains a firm hold on a working surface.

    9. Dentistry The angle at which the upper and lower teeth meet; occlusion.

    10. The corrosive action of acid upon an etcher's metal plate.

    11. Slang An amount of money appropriated or withheld: trying to avoid the tax bite.

    Idioms: bite off more than (one) can chewTo decide or agree to do more than one can finally accomplish.

    bite (someone's) head offTo respond to a comment in an angry or reproachful way.

    bite the bullet SlangTo face a painful situation bravely and stoically.

    bite the dust Slang1. To fall dead, especially in combat.

    2. To be defeated.

    3. To come to an end.

    bite the hand that feeds (one)To repay generosity or kindness with ingratitude and injury.

    [Middle English biten, from Old English btan; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

    bita·ble, bitea·ble adj.

    biter n.

    Synonyms: bite, champ1, chomp, gnaw These verbs mean to seize and tear or grind something with the teeth: bite into a ripe apple; a horse champing at its bit; a cow chomping its hay; a dog gnawing a bone.


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