bit1 [bit]
[ME < OE bite, a bite < bītan, BITE]
1. the part of a bridle that goes into a horse's mouth, used to control the horse: see BRIDLE
2. anything that curbs or controls
3. the part of a pipestem held in the mouth: see PIPE
4. the part of a key that actually turns the lock
5. the cutting part of any tool, as the blade of a plane
6. a drilling or boring tool for use in a brace, drill press, etc.: see DRILL1
bitted, bitting
a) to put a bit into the mouth of (a horse)
b) to train to the bit
2. to check or curb
3. to make the bit on (a key)
take the bit in one's teeth or get the bit in one's teeth
1. to clench the bit between the teeth, so that it fails to restrain: said of horses
2. to be beyond control
bit2 [bit]
[ME bite < OE bita, a piece, morsel, bit < bitan, to BITE]
a) a small piece or quantity
b) a small extent or limited degree: often used with a and having adverbial force [a bit bored]
c) a short time; moment [wait a bit ]
2. [orig. used of a small silver coin worth 1/ 8 of the Spanish peso (hence, normally 12 1/ 2 cents)] Informal an amount equal to 121/ 2 cents: now usually in two bits, four bits, etc.
a) a small part or short performance in a play or entertainment
b) Informal any stereotyped or repeated action, expression, etc. [resorting to the aggrieved bit]
very small [a bit role]
bit by bit
little by little; gradually
do one's bit
to do one's share
every bit
altogether; entirely
bit3 [bit]
vt., vi.
pt. & alt. pp. of BITE
bit4 [bit]
[b(inary) (dig)it]
1. a single digit in a binary number system
2. a unit of information equal to the amount of information obtained by learning which of two equally likely events occurred

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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