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mite2

[mahyt] /maɪt/
noun
1.
a contribution that is small but is all that a person can afford.
2.
a very small sum of money.
3.
a coin of very small value.
4.
a very small object.
5.
a very small creature.
adverb
6.
to a small extent; somewhat (often preceded by a):
a mite selfish.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English myte < Middle Dutch mīte small copper coin; ultimately identical with mite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for a mite

mite1

/maɪt/
noun
1.
any of numerous small free-living or parasitic arachnids of the order Acarina (or Acari) that can occur in terrestrial or aquatic habitats See also gall mite, harvest mite, itch mite, spider mite Compare tick2 related adjective acaroid
Word Origin
Old English mīte; compare Old High German mīza gnat, Dutch mijt

mite2

/maɪt/
noun
1.
a very small particle, creature, or object
2.
a very small contribution or sum of money See also widow's mite
3.
a former Flemish coin of small value
4.
(informal) a mite, somewhat: he's a mite foolish
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch mīte; compare mite1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for a mite

mite

n.

"tiny animal, minute arachnid," Old English mite, from Proto-Germanic *miton (cf. Middle Dutch mite, Dutch mijt, Old High German miza, Danish mide) originally meaning perhaps "the cutter," in reference to its bite, from Proto-Germanic *mait- (cf. Gothic maitan, Old High German meizen "to cut"), from PIE root *mai- "to cut" (see maim). Or else its original sense is "something small," and it is from PIE *mei- "small," in reference to size (see minus).

"little bit," mid-14c., from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German mite "tiny animal," from Proto-Germanic *miton-, from PIE *mei- "small" (see minus), and thus probably identical with mite (n.1). Also the name of a medieval Flemish copper coin of very small value, proverbial in English for "a very small unit of money," hence used since Wyclif to translate Latin minutum from Vulgate in Mark xii:43, itself a translation of Greek lepton. French mite (14c.) is a loan-word from Dutch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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a mite in Medicine

mite 1 (mīt)
n.
Any of numerous small or minute arachnids of the order Acarina, certain species of which are parasitic on animals and plants, infest stored food products, and in some cases transmit disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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a mite in Science
mite
  (mīt)   
Any of various very small arachnids of the subclass Acari that often live as parasites on other animals or plants. Like ticks and unlike spiders, mites have no division between the cephalothorax and abdomen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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a mite in the Bible

contraction of minute, from the Latin minutum, the translation of the Greek word lepton, the very smallest bronze of copper coin (Luke 12:59; 21:2). Two mites made one quadrans, i.e., the fourth part of a Roman as, which was in value nearly a halfpenny. (See FARTHING.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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