bite the hand that feeds one


verb (used with object), bit, bitten or bit, biting.
to cut, wound, or tear with the teeth: She bit the apple greedily. The lion bit his trainer.
to grip or hold with the teeth: Stop biting your lip!
to sting, as does an insect.
to cause to smart or sting: an icy wind that bit our faces.
to sever with the teeth (often followed by off ): Don't bite your nails. The child bit off a large piece of the candy bar.
to start to eat (often followed by into ): She bit into her steak.
to clamp the teeth firmly on or around (often followed by on ): He bit hard on the stick while they removed the bullet from his leg.
to take advantage of; cheat; deceive: I got bitten in a mail-order swindle.
to annoy or upset; anger: What's biting you, sorehead?
to eat into or corrode, as does an acid.
to cut or pierce with, or as with, a weapon: The sword split his helmet and bit him fatally.
Etching. to etch with acid (a copper or other surface) in such parts as are left bare of a protective coating.
to take firm hold or act effectively on: We need a clamp to bite the wood while the glue dries.
Archaic. to make a decided impression on; affect.
verb (used without object), bit, bitten or bit, biting.
to press the teeth into something; attack with the jaws, bill, sting, etc.; snap: Does your parrot bite?
Angling. (of fish) to take bait: The fish aren't biting today.
to accept an offer or suggestion, especially one intended to trick or deceive: I knew it was a mistake, but I bit anyway.
Informal. to admit defeat in guessing: I'll bite, who is it?
to act effectively; grip; hold: This wood is so dry the screws don't bite.
Slang. to be notably repellent, disappointing, poor, etc.; suck.
an act of biting.
a wound made by biting: a deep bite.
a cutting, stinging, or nipping effect: the bite of an icy wind; the bite of whiskey on the tongue.
a piece bitten off: Chew each bite carefully.
a small meal: Let's have a bite before the theater.
a portion severed from the whole: the government's weekly bite of my paycheck.
a morsel of food: not a bite to eat.
the occlusion of one's teeth: The dentist said I had a good bite.
the catch or hold that one object or one part of a mechanical apparatus has on another.
a surface brought into contact to obtain a hold or grip, as in a lathe chuck or similar device.
the amount of material that a mechanical shovel or the like can carry at one time.
sharpness; incisiveness; effectiveness: The bite of his story is spoiled by his slovenly style.
the roughness of the surface of a file.
Metalworking. the maximum angle, measured from the center of a roll in a rolling mill, between a perpendicular and a line to the point of contact where a given object to be rolled will enter between the rolls.
bite off more than one can chew, to attempt something that exceeds one's capacity: In trying to build a house by himself, he bit off more than he could chew.
bite someone's head off, to respond with anger or impatience to someone's question or comment: He'll bite your head off if you ask for anything.
bite the bullet. bullet ( def 7 ).
bite the dust. dust ( def 21 ).
bite the hand that feeds one, to repay kindness with malice or injury: When he berates his boss, he is biting the hand that feeds him.
put the bite on, Slang.
to solicit or attempt to borrow money or something of value from.
to press for money, as in extortion: They found out about his prison record and began to put the bite on him.

before 1000; Middle English biten, Old English bītan; cognate with Old High German bīzan (German beissen), Gothic beitan, Old Norse bīta; akin to Latin findere to split

bitable, biteable, adjective

bight, bite, byte.

1. gnaw, chew, nip. 22. mouthful, morsel, taste; scrap, crumb, dab. 23. snack, nosh. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To bite the hand that feeds one
World English Dictionary
bite (baɪt)
vb (often foll by for) , bites, biting, bit, bitten
1.  to grip, cut off, or tear with or as if with the teeth or jaws
2.  (of animals, insects, etc) to injure by puncturing or tearing (the skin or flesh) with the teeth, fangs, etc, esp as a natural characteristic
3.  (tr) to cut or penetrate, as with a knife
4.  (of corrosive material such as acid) to eat away or into
5.  to smart or cause to smart; sting: mustard bites the tongue
6.  (intr) angling (of a fish) to take or attempt to take the bait or lure
7.  to take firm hold of or act effectively upon
8.  to grip or hold (a workpiece) with a tool or chuck
9.  (of a screw, thread, etc) to cut into or grip (an object, material, etc)
10.  informal (tr) to annoy or worry: what's biting her?
11.  slang (often passive) to cheat
12.  slang (Austral), (NZ) to ask (for); scrounge from
13.  informal bite off more than one can chew to attempt a task beyond one's capability
14.  bite the bullet to face up to (pain, trouble, etc) with fortitude; be stoical
15.  bite someone's head off to respond harshly and rudely (to)
16.  bite the dust See dust
17.  bite the hand that feeds one to repay kindness with injury or ingratitude
18.  once bitten, twice shy after an unpleasant experience one is cautious in similar situations
19.  slang (Austral) put the bite on someone to ask someone for money
20.  the act of biting
21.  a thing or amount bitten off
22.  a wound, bruise, or sting inflicted by biting
23.  angling an attempt by a fish to take the bait or lure
24.  informal an incisive or penetrating effect or quality: that's a question with a bite
25.  a light meal; snack
26.  a cutting, stinging, or smarting sensation
27.  the depth of cut of a machine tool
28.  the grip or hold applied by a tool or chuck to a workpiece
29.  dentistry the angle or manner of contact between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed naturally
30.  the surface of a file or rasp with cutting teeth
31.  the corrosive action of acid, as on a metal etching plate
[Old English bītan; related to Latin findere to split, Sanskrit bhedati he splits]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bitan (class I strong verb; past tense bat, pp. biten), from P.Gmc. *bitan (O.Fris. bita, M.Du. biten, Ger. beissen, Goth. beitan "to bite"), from PIE base *bheid- "to split, crack" (see fissure). To bite the bullet is 1700s military slang, from old medical custom of
having the patient bite a bullet during an operation to divert attention from pain and reduce screaming. To bite (one's) tongue "refrain from speaking" is 1590s. To bite the dust "die" is 1750. To bite off more than one can chew (c.1880) is U.S. slang, from plug tobacco.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

bite (bīt)
v. bit (bĭt), bit·ten (bĭt'n) or bit, bit·ing, bites

  1. To cut, grip, or tear with the teeth.

  2. To pierce the skin of with the teeth, fangs, or mouthparts.

  1. The act of biting.

  2. A puncture or laceration of the skin by the teeth of an animal or the mouthparts of an insect or similar organism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
built-in test equipment
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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