Meaning of “bite” in the English Dictionary

"bite" in British English

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uk /baɪt/ us /baɪt/ bit, bitten

bite verb (USE TEETH)

B1 [ I or T ] to use your teeth to cut into something or someone:

He bit into the apple.
He bites his fingernails.

[ I ] When a fish bites, it swallows the food on the hook (= curved piece of wire) at the end of a fishing line:

The fish aren't biting today.

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uk /baɪt/ us /baɪt/

bite noun (USING TEETH)

B2 [ C ] the act of biting something:

He took a bite (= bit a piece) out of the apple.

(Definition of “bite” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"bite" in American English

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us /bɑɪt/ past tense and past participle bit /bɪt/ , past participle bitten /ˈbɪt·ən/

bite verb (USE TEETH)

[ I/T ] to use your teeth to cut into something:

[ I/T ] He bit (into) the apple.
[ I/T ] You have to teach your children not to bite (other kids).

[ I/T ] If an insect bites, it breaks the surface of the skin of a person and leaves a sore place:

[ I ] We can’t eat outside tonight – the mosquitoes are biting.

[ I/T ] A fish bites when it takes a fishing hook into its mouth:

[ I ] We were on the lake all day, but the fish just weren’t biting.

bite verb (HAVE AN EFFECT)

[ I ] to have an effect that is often unpleasant or severe:

When the recession began to bite, people spent less on eating out in restaurants.


us /bɑɪt/

bite noun (USE OF TEETH)

[ C ] the act of using your teeth to cut and tear something, or the piece torn away:

He took a few bites of the chicken and drank some water.

[ C ] A bite is also a sore place on the surface of your skin made by an insect:

mosquito bites

[ C ] In fishing, a bite is a fish taking a hook in its mouth.


(Definition of “bite” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"bite" in Business English

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biteverb [ I ]

uk /baɪt/ us
start/begin to bite

to start to have a bad effect on something:

When the credit crunch started to bite, many smaller firms were forced out of business.
Sales will slow as interest rates begin to bite.

Phrasal verb(s)


uk /baɪt/ us
the bite of sth

the harmful effect of something:

Homeowners need to be protected from the bite of tax increases.
take a bite out of sth

to reduce the number or amount of something:

The budget deficit has taken a big bite out of federal funds.

[ C ] IT another spelling of byte

(Definition of “bite” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)