take bit between ones teeth


1 [bit]
a removable drilling or boring tool for use in a brace, drill press, or the like.
a removable boring head used on certain kinds of drills, as a rock drill.
a device for drilling oil wells or the like, consisting of a horizontally rotating blade or an assembly of rotating toothed wheels.
the mouthpiece of a bridle, having fittings at each end to which the reins are fastened.
anything that curbs or restrains.
the blade or iron of a carpenter's plane.
the cutting part of an ax or hatchet.
the wide portion at the end of an ordinary key that moves the bolt.
verb (used with object), bitted, bitting.
to put a bit in the mouth of (a horse).
to curb or restrain with, or as with, a bit.
to grind a bit on (a key).
take the bit in / between one's teeth, to cast off control; willfully go one's own way: He took the bit in his teeth and acted against his parents' wishes.

before 900; Middle English bite, Old English: action of biting; cognate with German Biss, Old Norse bit. See bite

bitless, adjective
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World English Dictionary
bit1 (bɪt)
1.  a small piece, portion, or quantity
2.  a short time or distance
3.  informal (US), (Canadian) the value of an eighth of a dollar: spoken of only in units of two: two bits
4.  any small coin
5.  short for bit part
6.  informal way of behaving, esp one intended to create a particular impression: she's doing the prima donna bit
7.  a bit rather; somewhat: a bit dreary
8.  a bit of
 a.  rather: a bit of a dope
 b.  a considerable amount: that must take quite a bit of courage
9.  slang (Brit) a bit of all right, a bit of crumpet, a bit of stuff, a bit of tail a sexually attractive woman
10.  bit by bit gradually
11.  informal bit on the side an extramarital affair
12.  do one's bit to make one's expected contribution
13.  (foll by as) every bit to the same degree: she was every bit as clever as her brother
14.  not a bit, not a bit of it not in the slightest; not at all
15.  to bits completely apart: to fall to bits
[Old English bite action of biting; see bite]

bit2 (bɪt)
1.  a metal mouthpiece, for controlling a horse on a bridle
2.  anything that restrains or curbs
3.  take the bit in one's teeth, take the bit between one's teeth, have the bit in one's teeth, have the bit between one's teeth
 a.  to undertake a task with determination
 b.  to rebel against control
4.  a cutting or drilling tool, part, or head in a brace, drill, etc
5.  the blade of a woodworking plane
6.  the part of a pair of pincers designed to grasp an object
7.  the copper end of a soldering iron
8.  the part of a key that engages the levers of a lock
vb , bits, bitting, bitted
9.  to put a bit in the mouth of (a horse)
10.  to restrain; curb
[Old English bita; related to Old English bītan to bite]

bit3 (bɪt)
the past tense and (archaic) past participle of bite

bit4 (bɪt)
1.  a single digit of binary notation, represented either by 0 or by 1
2.  the smallest unit of information, indicating the presence or absence of a single feature
3.  a unit of capacity of a computer, consisting of an element of its physical structure capable of being in either of two states, such as a switch with on and off positions, or a microscopic magnet capable of alignment in two directions
[C20: from abbreviation of binary digit]

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

related O.E. words bite "act of biting," and bita "piece bitten off," are probably the source of the modern words meaning "boring-piece of a drill" (1590s), "mouthpiece of a horse's bridle" (mid-14c.), and "a piece bitten off, morsel" (c.1000). All from P.Gmc. *biton (cf. O.S. biti, O.N. bit, O.Fris.
bite, M.Du. bete, O.H.G. bizzo, Ger. Bissen "bit, morsel"), from PIE base *bheid- "to split" (see fissure). Meaning "small piece, fragment" is from c.1600. Theatrical bit part is from 1926. Money sense in two bits, six bits, etc. is originally from Southern U.S. and West Indies, in ref. to silver wedges cut or stamped from Sp. dollars (later Mexican reals); transferred to "eighth of a dollar."

computerese word, 1948 abbreviation (coined by J.W. Tukey) of binary digit, probably chosen for its identity with bit (1).

past tense of bite.
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
Science Dictionary
bit   (bĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
The smallest unit of computer memory. A bit holds one of two possible values, either of the binary digits 0 or 1. The term comes from the phrase binary digit. See Note at byte.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

bit definition

The smallest unit of information. One bit corresponds to a “yes” or “no.” Some examples of a bit of information: whether a light is on or off, whether a switch (like a transistor) is on or off, whether a grain of magnetized iron points up or down.

Note: The information in a digital computer is stored in the form of bits.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
binary digit
built in test
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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Bible Dictionary

Bit definition

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 "bridles."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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