bite

Save
1 bite /ˈbaɪt/ verb
bites; bit /ˈbɪt/ ; bitten /ˈbɪtn̩/ ; biting /ˈbaɪtɪŋ/
1 bite
/ˈbaɪt/
verb
bites; bit /ˈbɪt/ ; bitten /ˈbɪtn̩/ ; biting /ˈbaɪtɪŋ/
Learner's definition of BITE
of a person or animal
: to press down on or cut into (someone or something) with the teeth
[+ object]
often + off
[no object]
often + down, into, or through
of an insect or snake : to wound (someone) by pushing a stinger, fang, etc., into the skin
[+ object]
[no object]
sometimes used figuratively
[no object] : to grab and hold something without slipping usually + into
[no object]
of a fish : to take a fishhook and bait into the mouth and usually to get caught
somewhat informal : to respond to or accept something that is being offered
◊ Someone gets you to bite by offering something you want so that you will do something desired.
[no object] chiefly British : to have a bad effect
[no object] US slang, impolite : to be extremely bad

bite back

[phrasal verb] informal
: to attack or criticize someone who has attacked or criticized you
often + at
bite back (something) or bite (something) back : to stop yourself from saying (something)

bite off more than you can chew

informal
: to try to do too much : to take on more responsibility than you can handle

bite someone's head off

informal
: to yell at someone or to be very critical of someone especially very suddenly and without a good reason

bite the bullet

informal
: to do something unpleasant or painful because it is necessary even though you would like to avoid it

bite the dust

informal
: to die or stop functioning

bite the hand that feeds you

informal
: to harm someone who has helped or supported you

bite your tongue

informal also bite your lip
: to not speak : to stop yourself from saying something that you are tempted to say
often used as a command

come back to bite you

◊ If something that you do comes back to bite you, it causes problems for you at a later time.

hair of the dog that bit you

see hair

once bitten, twice shy

◊ The expression once bitten, twice shy means that a person who has failed or been hurt when trying to do something is careful or fearful about doing it again.

— biter

noun, plural biters [count]
2 bite /ˈbaɪt/ noun
plural bites
2 bite
/ˈbaɪt/
noun
plural bites
Learner's definition of BITE
[count]
: an act of biting
: the way the upper and lower teeth come together
see also overbite
[count] : the amount of food eaten with a bite
[singular] informal : a small amount of food : a snack or a small informal meal
[count] : a wound made by biting see also snakebite
[noncount] : a bad effect : a negative impact
[noncount]
: a sharp feeling or taste
: a sharp quality in something written, spoken, or performed
◊ Something that has bite usually expresses criticism in a strong and often clever way.

your bark is worse than your bite

see 2bark
see also sound bite
Comments & Questions
Comments & Questions
What made you want to look up bite? Include any comments and questions you have about this word.