From Middle English biten, from Old English bītan, from Proto-Germanic *bītaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyd- (“to split”). Cognates include West Frisian bite, Low German bieten, Dutch bijten, Swedish bita, German beißen, Danish bide, Norwegian Bokmål bite, Norwegian Nynorsk bita, Gothic ?????? (beitan), and through Indo-European, Ancient Greek φείδομαι (pheídomai), Sanskrit भिद् (bhid, “to break”), Latin findo (“split”).
bite (third-person singular simple present bites, present participle biting, simple past bit, past participle bitten or (rare) bit)
- (transitive) To cut off a piece by clamping the teeth.
- (transitive) To hold something by clamping one's teeth.
- (intransitive) To attack with the teeth.
- (intransitive) To behave aggressively; to reject advances.
- (intransitive) To take hold; to establish firm contact with.
- (intransitive) To have significant effect, often negative.
- (intransitive, of a fish) To bite a baited hook or other lure and thus be caught.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To accept something offered, often secretly or deceptively, to cause some action by the acceptor.
- (intransitive, transitive, of an insect) To sting.
- (intransitive) To cause a smarting sensation; to have a property which causes such a sensation; to be pungent.
- (transitive, sometimes figuratively) To cause sharp pain or damage to; to hurt or injure.
- (intransitive) To cause sharp pain; to produce anguish; to hurt or injure; to have the property of so doing.
- (intransitive) To take or keep a firm hold.
- (transitive) To take hold of; to hold fast; to adhere to.
- (intransitive, slang) To lack quality; to be worthy of derision; to suck.
- (transitive, informal, vulgar) To perform oral sex on. Used in invective.
- (intransitive, African American Vernacular, slang) To plagiarize, to imitate.
- (obsolete) To deceive or defraud; to take in.
bite (plural bites)
- The act of biting.
- The wound left behind after having been bitten.
- The swelling of one's skin caused by an insect's mouthparts or sting.
- A piece of food of a size that would be produced by biting; a mouthful.
- (slang) Something unpleasant.
- (slang) An act of plagiarism.
- A small meal or snack.
- (figuratively) aggression
- The hold which the short end of a lever has upon the thing to be lifted, or the hold which one part of a machine has upon another.
- (colloquial, dated) A cheat; a trick; a fraud.
- (colloquial, dated, slang) A sharper; one who cheats.
- (printing) A blank on the edge or corner of a page, owing to a portion of the frisket, or something else, intervening between the type and paper.
- (slang) A cut, a proportion of profits; an amount of money.