Headway Word of the Week

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To bite means to use your teeth to cut into something.

  • Sally bit into the apple.
  • Your dog has bitten my leg!

Bite can also be used as a noun.

  • He took a big bite out of his sandwich.
  • He had a bite to eat. ( = a small snack)

Check out what bites

  • Dogs bite
  • Mosquitoes bite
  • Snakes bite

But: bees and wasps sting

Check out phrasal verbs

  • bite into
    ( = press hard and painfully)
    The collar of his new shirt bit into his neck.
  • bite off
    ( = bite a piece of something from the main part)
    Sam bit off a piece of cheese.

Check out expressions

  • to be bitten by the bug
    ( = to develop a strong interest or enthusiasm for sth)
    Alan’s been bitten by the skiing bug. He spends all his time planning skiing trips.
  • bite the bullet
    ( = to deal with an unpleasant situation or problem that you can no longer avoid)
    Anne has finally bitten the bullet and made an appointment to see the bank manager about her debt problem.
  • bite the dust
    ( = to fail or die)
    Many small businesses bite the dust within a year after they start up.
  • bite off more than you can chew
    ( = try to do sth that is too difficult for you)
    He bit off more than he could chew when he decided to continue with his job and do a part-time course in the evenings.
  • bite someone’s head off
    ( = to react very angrily and shout at someone)
    OK! I know I was wrong! There’s no need to bite my head off!
  • bite your tongue
    ( = to stop yourself saying something that you’d like to say, because you know it will cause problems)
    I’d have loved to tell Sonja the truth about Michael, but I decided to bite my tongue and let her find out for herself.
  • bite the hand that feeds you
    ( = do something bad to someone who’s given you a lot of necessary help)
    Your crazy to be so rude to your uncle when he’s paying for your university studies. You shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Check out adjective collocations

  • a biting wind
  • biting cold
  • biting sarcasm
  • a biting remark

Check out related words

  • cut
  • nip
  • sting
  • snap
  • grip

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