American English

Definition of bite verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they bite
    he / she / it bites
    past simple bit
    past participle bitten
    -ing form biting
    jump to other results
    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 someone 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
  6. accept/believe something
  7. 4[intransitive] (informal) to accept, believe, etc. something, especially when someone tries hard to persuade you to accept or believe it They tried to sell us a fake Picasso, but we didn’t bite.
  8. have effect
  9. 5[intransitive] to have an unpleasant effect The recession is beginning to bite.
  10. be very bad
  11. 6something bites [intransitive] (slang) (offensive) used to say that something is very bad Let’s leave…this movie really bites! You lost your job? That bites!
  12. Idioms
    be bitten by something
    jump to other results
    to develop a strong interest in, or enthusiasm for, something He's been bitten by the travel bug.
    bite the bullet (informal)
    jump to other results
    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 anesthetic.
      bite the dust (informal)
      jump to other results
    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
    jump to other results
    to harm someone who has helped you or supported you
    bite/snap somebody's head off (informal)
    jump to other results
    to shout at someone in an angry way, especially without reason
    bite your lip
    jump to other results
    to stop yourself from saying something or from showing an emotion
    bite off more than you can chew
    jump to other results
    to try to do too much, or something that is too difficult
    bite your tongue
    jump to other results
    to stop yourself from saying something that might upset someone or cause an argument, although you want to speak I didn't believe her explanation, but I bit my tongue.
    I/he/she could have bitten my/his/her tongue out/off
    jump to other results
    used when someone says something stupid or embarrassing and immediately wishes they had not said it
    once bitten, twice shy (saying)
    jump to other results
    after an unpleasant experience you are careful to avoid something similar
    Phrasal Verbsbite back (at somebody/something)bite somethingbackbite into something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bite