Hypertext Webster Gateway: "bit"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

the curb put into the mouths of horses to restrain them. The
Hebrew word (metheg) so rendered in Ps. 32:9 is elsewhere
translated "bridle" (2 Kings 19:28; Prov. 26:3; Isa. 37:29).
Bits were generally made of bronze or iron, but sometimes also
of gold or silver. In James 3:3 the Authorized Version
translates the Greek word by "bits," but the Revised Version by

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Bit \Bit\, n.
In the British West Indies, a fourpenny piece, or groat.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Bit \Bit\,
3d sing. pr. of {Bid}, for biddeth. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Bit \Bit\, n. [OE. bitt, bite, AS. bite, bite, fr. b[=i]tan to
bite. See {Bite}, n. & v., and cf. {Bit} a morsel.]
1. The part of a bridle, usually of iron, which is inserted
in the mouth of a horse, and having appendages to which
the reins are fastened. --Shak.

The foamy bridle with the bit of gold. --Chaucer.

2. Fig.: Anything which curbs or restrains.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Bit \Bit\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Bitted}; p. pr. & vb. n.
To put a bridle upon; to put the bit in the mouth of.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Bit \Bit\,
imp. & p. p. of {Bite}.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Bit \Bit\, n. [OE. bite, AS. bita, fr. b[=i]tan to bite; akin to
D. beet, G. bissen bit, morsel, Icel. biti. See {Bite}, v.,
and cf. {Bit} part of a bridle.]
1. A part of anything, such as may be bitten off or taken
into the mouth; a morsel; a bite. Hence: A small piece of
anything; a little; a mite.

2. Somewhat; something, but not very great.

My young companion was a bit of a poet. --T. Hook.

Note: This word is used, also, like jot and whit, to express
the smallest degree; as, he is not a bit wiser.

3. A tool for boring, of various forms and sizes, usually
turned by means of a brace or bitstock. See {Bitstock}.

4. The part of a key which enters the lock and acts upon the
bolt and tumblers. --Knight.

5. The cutting iron of a plane. --Knight.

6. In the Southern and Southwestern States, a small silver
coin (as the real) formerly current; commonly, one worth
about 12 1/2 cents; also, the sum of 12 1/2 cents.

{Bit my bit}, piecemeal. --Pope.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Bite \Bite\, v. t. [imp. {Bit}; p. p. {Bitten}, {Bit}; p. pr. &
vb. n. {Biting}.] [OE. biten, AS. b[=i]tan; akin to D.
bijten, OS. b[=i]tan, OHG. b[=i]zan, G. beissen, Goth.
beitan, Icel. b[=i]ta, Sw. bita, Dan. bide, L. findere to
cleave, Skr. bhid to cleave. [root]87. Cf. {Fissure}.]
1. To seize with the teeth, so that they enter or nip the
thing seized; to lacerate, crush, or wound with the teeth;
as, to bite an apple; to bite a crust; the dog bit a man.

Such smiling rogues as these, Like rats, oft bite
the holy cords atwain. --Shak.

2. To puncture, abrade, or sting with an organ (of some
insects) used in taking food.

3. To cause sharp pain, or smarting, to; to hurt or injure,
in a literal or a figurative sense; as, pepper bites the
mouth. ``Frosts do bite the meads.'' --Shak.

4. To cheat; to trick; to take in. [Colloq.] --Pope.

5. To take hold of; to hold fast; to adhere to; as, the
anchor bites the ground.

The last screw of the rack having been turned so
often that its purchase crumbled, . . . it turned
and turned with nothing to bite. --Dickens.

{To bite the dust}, {To bite the ground}, to fall in the
agonies of death; as, he made his enemy bite the dust.

{To bite in} (Etching), to corrode or eat into metallic
plates by means of an acid.

{To bite the thumb at} (any one), formerly a mark of
contempt, designed to provoke a quarrel; to defy. ``Do you
bite your thumb at us?'' --Shak.

{To bite the tongue}, to keep silence. --Shak.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj : injured by bites or stings; "leaving the biter bit"; "her
poor mosquito-bitten legs" [syn: {bitten}, {stung}]
n 1: (British) a small quantity; "a spot of tea"; "a bit of
paper" [syn: {spot}]
2: a small fragment of something broken off from the whole; "a
bit of rock caught him in the eye" [syn: {chip}, {flake},
{fleck}, {scrap}]
3: an indefinitely short time; "wait just a moment"; "it only
takes a minute"; "in just a bit" [syn: {moment}, {minute},
4: an instance of some kind; "it was a nice piece of work"; "he
had a bit of good luck" [syn: {piece}]
5: piece of metal held in horse's mouth by reins and used to
control the horse while riding; "the horse was not
accustomed to a bit"
6: a unit of measurement of information (from Binary + digIT);
the amount of information in a system having two
equiprobable states; "there are 8 bits in a byte"
7: a small amount of solid food; a mouthful; "all they had left
was a bit of bread" [syn: {morsel}, {bite}]
8: a small fragment; "overheard snatches of their conversation"
[syn: {snatch}]
9: a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer
program; "he did his act three times every evening"; "she
had a catchy little routine"; "it was one of the best
numbers he ever did" [syn: {act}, {routine}, {number}, {turn}]
10: the cutting part of a drill; usually pointed and threaded
and is replaceable in a brace or bitstock or drill press;
"he looked around for the right size bit"

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