To bite the thumb at
Bite Bite (b[imac]t), v. t. [imp. {Bit} (b[i^]t); p. p. {Bitten} (b[i^]t"t'n), {Bit}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Biting}.] [OE. biten, AS. b[=i]tan; akin to D. bijten, OS. b[=i]tan, OHG. b[=i]zan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. b[=i]ta, Sw. bita, Dan. bide, L. findere to cleave, Skr. bhid to cleave. [root]87. Cf. {Fissure}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To seize with the teeth, so that they enter or nip the thing seized; to lacerate, crush, or wound with the teeth; as, to bite an apple; to bite a crust; the dog bit a man. [1913 Webster]

Such smiling rogues as these, Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. To puncture, abrade, or sting with an organ (of some insects) used in taking food. [1913 Webster]

3. To cause sharp pain, or smarting, to; to hurt or injure, in a literal or a figurative sense; as, pepper bites the mouth. ``Frosts do bite the meads.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. To cheat; to trick; to take in. [Colloq.] --Pope. [1913 Webster]

5. To take hold of; to hold fast; to adhere to; as, the anchor bites the ground. [1913 Webster]

The last screw of the rack having been turned so often that its purchase crumbled, . . . it turned and turned with nothing to bite. --Dickens. [1913 Webster]

{To bite the dust}, {To bite the ground}, to fall in the agonies of death; as, he made his enemy bite the dust.

{To bite in} (Etching), to corrode or eat into metallic plates by means of an acid.

{To bite the thumb at} (any one), formerly a mark of contempt, designed to provoke a quarrel; to defy. ``Do you bite your thumb at us?'' --Shak.

{To bite the tongue}, to keep silence. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bite the thumb at — phrasal : to insult provocatively : jeer …   Useful english dictionary

  • To bite the dust — Bite Bite (b[imac]t), v. t. [imp. {Bit} (b[i^]t); p. p. {Bitten} (b[i^]t t n), {Bit}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Biting}.] [OE. biten, AS. b[=i]tan; akin to D. bijten, OS. b[=i]tan, OHG. b[=i]zan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. b[=i]ta, Sw. bita, Dan.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To bite the ground — Bite Bite (b[imac]t), v. t. [imp. {Bit} (b[i^]t); p. p. {Bitten} (b[i^]t t n), {Bit}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Biting}.] [OE. biten, AS. b[=i]tan; akin to D. bijten, OS. b[=i]tan, OHG. b[=i]zan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. b[=i]ta, Sw. bita, Dan.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To bite the tongue — Bite Bite (b[imac]t), v. t. [imp. {Bit} (b[i^]t); p. p. {Bitten} (b[i^]t t n), {Bit}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Biting}.] [OE. biten, AS. b[=i]tan; akin to D. bijten, OS. b[=i]tan, OHG. b[=i]zan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. b[=i]ta, Sw. bita, Dan.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To bite in — Bite Bite (b[imac]t), v. t. [imp. {Bit} (b[i^]t); p. p. {Bitten} (b[i^]t t n), {Bit}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Biting}.] [OE. biten, AS. b[=i]tan; akin to D. bijten, OS. b[=i]tan, OHG. b[=i]zan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. b[=i]ta, Sw. bita, Dan.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bite — (b[imac]t), v. t. [imp. {Bit} (b[i^]t); p. p. {Bitten} (b[i^]t t n), {Bit}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Biting}.] [OE. biten, AS. b[=i]tan; akin to D. bijten, OS. b[=i]tan, OHG. b[=i]zan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. b[=i]ta, Sw. bita, Dan. bide, L.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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