American English

Definition of bit noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    small amount
  1. 1a bit [singular] (used as an adverb) rather, slightly synonym a little These pants are a little bit tight. “Do you want to lie down?” “Yes, I am a bit tired.” It costs a little bit more than I wanted to spend. I can lend you fifty dollars—that should help a bit.
  2. 2a bit [singular] a short time or distance Wait a bit! Can you move up a bit? Greg thought for a bit before answering.
  3. 3[countable] bit of something a small amount or piece of something some useful bits of information With a bit of luck, we'll be there by 12. I have a little bit of shopping to do. I just want a little bit of cake. bits of grass/paper
  4. large amount
  5. 4[singular] a bit (of something) (informal) a large amount The new system will take a bit of getting used to (= it will take a long time to get used to).
  6. computing
  7. 5[countable] the smallest unit of information used by a computer
  8. for horse
  9. 6[countable] a metal bar that is put in a horse's mouth so that the rider can control it
  10. tool
  11. 7[countable] a tool or part of a tool for drilling (= making) holes see also drill
  12. money
  13. 8(informal) an amount of money equal to 12½ cents see also bite
  14. Idioms
    the (whole)… bit (informal) (disapproving)
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    behavior or ideas that are typical of a particular group, type of person, or activity She found the whole motherhood bit difficult.
    a piece at a time; gradually He assembled the model aircraft bit by bit. Bit by bit memories of the night came back to me.
    a bit much (informal)
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    not fair or not reasonable Isn't it a bit much, calling me at three in the morning? The noise from next door is getting to be a bit much.
    a bit of a… (informal)
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    used when talking about unpleasant or negative things or ideas, to make what you are saying sound less strong We may have a bit of a problem on our hands.
    bits and pieces (informal)
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    small objects or items of various kinds She stuffed all the bits and pieces into a bag and left.
    champing at the bit (informal)
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    impatient to do or start doing something Gerry's champing at the bit to go to college.
    do your bit (informal)
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    to do your share of a task We can finish this job on time if everyone does their bit.
    every bit as good, bad, etc. (as somebody/something)
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    just as good, bad, etc.; equally good, bad, etc. Rome is every bit as beautiful as Paris. He's every bit as smart as she is.
    get the bit between your teeth (informal)
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    to become very enthusiastic about something that you have started to do so that you are unlikely to stop until you have finished
    not a bit, not one (little) bit
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    not at all; not in any way “Are you cold?” “Not a bit.” I don't like that idea one bit.
    quite a bit
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    a fairly large amount or degree “How much does he earn?” “Quite a bit, I’m told.” He’s lost quite a bit of weight on this diet. She won the race by quite a bit. They’ve been spending quite a bit of time together lately. The trip was quite a bit longer than we expected.
    1. 1into small pieces The car was blown to bits in the explosion. He smashed it to bits with a hammer.
    2. 2(informal) very much I love my kids to bits.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bit