Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of bit
Meaning of bit by Wiktionary Dictionary

bit


    Pronunciation

    • enPR: bĭt, IPA: /bɪt/, X-SAMPA: /bIt/
    • Rhymes: -ɪt

    Etymology 1

    From Old English bita and bite - all from Proto-Germanic *bitô, from Proto-Indo-European *bheid- ( “to split” ) .

    Noun

    bit ( plural: bits )

    1. A piece of metal placed in a horse's mouth and connected to reins to direct the animal .
      Horses hate having bits put in their mouth .
    2. A rotary cutting tool fitted to a drill, used to make holes .
    3. ( US ) An eighth of a dollar. Note that there is no coin minted worth 12.5 cents. ( When this term first came into use, the Spanish 8 reales coin was widely used as a dollar equivalent, and thus the 1 real coin was equivalent to 12.5 cents. )
      A quarter is two bits .
    4. ( dated, UK ) A coin of a specified value. ( Also used for a nine-pence coin in the UK Caribbean. )
      A threepenny bit .
    5. A small amount of something .
      There were bits of paper all over the floor .
      Does your leg still hurt? / Just a bit now .
      I have done my bit, I expect you to do yours .
    6. Specifically, a small amount of time .
      I'll be there in a bit, I need to take care of something first .
      He was here just a bit ago, but it looks like he's stepped out .
    7. ( The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought ): A portion of something .
      I'd like a big bit of cake, please .
    8. ( slang ) A prison sentence, especially a short one.
    9. An excerpt of material from a composition or show .
      His bit about video games was not nearly as entertaining as the other segments of his show .
    Synonyms
    Derived terms

    Adverb

    bit ( not comparable )

    1. To a small extent; in a small amount ( usually with "a" ) .
      That's a bit too sweet .

    Etymology 2

    See bite

    Verb

    bit

    1. Simple past of bite .
      Your dog bit me!

    Etymology 3

    Coined by John Tukey in 1946 as an abbreviation of binary digit, probably influenced by connotations of “small portion”.[1][2] First used in print 1948 by Claude Shannon. Compare byte and nybble .

    Noun

    bit ( plural: bits )

    1. ( mathematics, computing ) A binary digit, generally represented as a 1 or 0 .
    2. ( computing ) The smallest unit of storage in a digital computer, consisting of a binary digit .
    3. ( information theory, cryptography ) Any datum that may take on one of exactly two values .
    Synonyms
    Derived terms
    See also
    • ban, nat, qubit

    Statistics

    Anagrams

    • tib, TiB


Explanation of bit by Wordnet Dictionary

bit


    Noun
    1. the cutting part of a drill

    2. he looked around for the right size bit
    3. piece of metal held in horse's mouth by reins and used to control the horse while riding

    4. the horse was not accustomed to a bit
    5. the part of a key that enters a lock and lifts the tumblers

    6. a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program

    7. a small fragment

    8. an instance of some kind

    9. he had a bit of good luck
    10. a small amount of solid food

    11. all they had left was a bit of bread
    12. a small fragment of something broken off from the whole

    13. a bit of rock caught him in the eye
    14. a unit of measurement of information ( from binary + digit )

    15. there are 8 bits in a byte
    16. a small piece or quantity of something

    17. a bit of paper
      a bit of lint
      I gave him a bit of my mind
    18. an indefinitely short time

    19. in just a bit


    Definition of bit by GCIDE Dictionary

    bit


    1. Bit ( bĭt ), n. [OE. bitt, bite, AS. bite, bite, fr. bītan to bite. See Bite, n. & v., and cf. Bit a morsel.]
      1. The part of a bridle, usually of iron, which is inserted in the mouth of a horse, and having appendages to which the reins are fastened. Shak.

      The foamy bridle with the bit of gold. Chaucer.

      2. Fig.: Anything which curbs or restrains.

    2. Bit, n. In the British West Indies, a fourpenny piece, or groat.

    3. Bit, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bitted ( ); p. pr. & vb. n. Bitting.] To put a bridle upon; to put the bit in the mouth of.

    4. Bit, imp. & p. p. of Bite.

    5. Bit, n. [OE. bite, AS. bita, fr. bītan to bite; akin to D. beet, G. bissen bit, morsel, Icel. biti. See Bite, v., and cf. Bit part of a bridle.]
      1. A part of anything, such as may be bitten off or taken into the mouth; a morsel; a bite. Hence: A small piece of anything; a little; a mite.

      2. Somewhat; something, but not very great.

      My young companion was a bit of a poet. T. Hook.

      ☞ This word is used, also, like jot and whit, to express the smallest degree; as, he is not a bit wiser.

      3. A tool for boring, of various forms and sizes, usually turned by means of a brace or bitstock. See Bitstock.

      4. The part of a key which enters the lock and acts upon the bolt and tumblers. Knight.

      5. The cutting iron of a plane. Knight.

      6. In the Southern and Southwestern States, a small silver coin ( as the real ) formerly current; commonly, one worth about 12 1/2 cents; also, the sum of 12 1/2 cents.

    6. Bit ( Information theory, Computers ) [binary digit.] n.
      1. The smallest unit of information, equivalent to a choice between two alternatives, as yes or no; on or off. See also qubit.

      2. ( Computers ) The physical representation of a bit of information in a computer memory or a data storage medium. Within a computer circuit a bit may be represented by the state of a current or an electrical charge; in a magnetic storage medium it may be represented by the direction of magnetization; on a punched card or on paper tape it may be represented by the presence or absence of a hole at a particular point on the card or tape.

      Bit my bit, piecemeal. Pope.

    7. Bit, 3d sing. pr. of Bid, for biddeth. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    8. Bite ( bīt ), v. t. [imp. Bit ( bĭt ); p. p. Bitten ( bĭtt'n ), Bit; p. pr. & vb. n. Biting.] [OE. biten, AS. bītan; akin to D. bijten, OS. bītan, OHG. bīzan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. bīta, Sw. bita, Dan. bide, L. findere to cleave, Skr. bhid to cleave. √87. Cf. Fissure.]

      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”.

      Such smiling rogues as these,

      Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain. Shak.

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

      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.

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

      5. To take hold of; to hold fast; to adhere to; as, “the anchor bites the ground”.

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

      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.

    9. Bite ( bīt ), v. t. [imp. Bit ( bĭt ); p. p. Bitten ( bĭtt'n ), Bit; p. pr. & vb. n. Biting.] [OE. biten, AS. bītan; akin to D. bijten, OS. bītan, OHG. bīzan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. bīta, Sw. bita, Dan. bide, L. findere to cleave, Skr. bhid to cleave. √87. Cf. Fissure.]

      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”.

      Such smiling rogues as these,

      Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain. Shak.

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

      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.

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

      5. To take hold of; to hold fast; to adhere to; as, “the anchor bites the ground”.

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

      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.