Definition of bite verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//baɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//baɪt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they bite
    BrE BrE//baɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//baɪt//
    he / she / it bites
    BrE BrE//baɪts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//baɪts//
    past simple bit
    BrE BrE//bɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪt//
    past participle bitten
    BrE BrE//ˈbɪtn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪtn//
    -ing form biting
    BrE BrE//ˈbaɪtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbaɪtɪŋ//
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    use teeth
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to use your teeth to cut into or through something Does your dog bite? Come here! I won't bite! (= you don't need to be afraid) bite into/through something She bit into a ripe juicy pear. bite somebody/something She was bitten by the family dog. Stop biting your nails! bite off something/sth off He bit off a large chunk of bread/He bit a large chunk of bread off.
  2. of insect/snake
  3. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to wound somebody by making a small hole or mark in their skin Most European spiders don't bite. bite somebody We were badly bitten by mosquitoes.
  4. of fish
  5. 3[intransitive] if a fish bites, it takes food from the hook of a fishing line and may get caught Wordfinderbait, bite, dragnet, fishing, fly, hook, line, net, rod, trawl
  6. have effect
  7. 4[intransitive] to have an unpleasant effect The recession is beginning to bite.
  8. Word OriginOld English bītan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bijten and German beissen.Extra examples After two cold months, the coal shortage was beginning to bite. As the recession bites harder, many small companies are going bankrupt. He bit at his lower lip. He bit off a chunk of bread. She bit down on her bottom lip. She bit into the apple. The dog had bitten right through its rope. The handcuffs bit deep into his wrist. Their cat was badly bitten by a dog. She was bitten by the dog. Stop biting your nails.Idioms to develop a strong interest in or enthusiasm for something He's been bitten by the travel bug. (informal) to start to deal with an unpleasant or difficult situation which cannot be avoided I wasn’t happy with the way my career was going so I decided to bite the bullet and look for another job. From the custom of giving soldiers a bullet to bite on during a medical operation without anaesthetic.
      bite the dust (informal)
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    1. 1to fail, or to be defeated or destroyed Thousands of small businesses bite the dust every year.
    2. 2(humorous) to die
    bite the hand that feeds you
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    to harm somebody who has helped you or supported you
    bite/snap somebody’s head off
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    (informal) to shout at somebody in an angry way, especially without reason See related entries: Anger
    to stop yourself from saying something or from showing an emotion
    bite off more than you can chew
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    to try to do too much, or something that is too difficult
    to stop yourself from saying something that might upset somebody or cause an argument, although you want to speak I didn't believe her explanation but I bit my tongue.
    the hair of the dog (that bit you)
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    (informal) alcohol that you drink in order to make you feel better when you have drunk too much alcohol the night before
    (saying) after an unpleasant experience you are careful to avoid something similar
    Phrasal Verbsbite backbite somethingbackbite into something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bite