There are 4 main definitions of bit in English:


Line breaks: bit
Pronunciation: /bɪt


1A small piece, part, or quantity of something: give the duck a bit of bread he read bits of his work to me
More example sentences
  • With a few bits of cardboard, a light and a bit of plastic, Pratt's little model echoes both the reality and the dream.
  • I've been trying to identify what bits of the blog work well (that these bits should even exist may come as a bit of a shock to some of you, I'm sure) and what bits don't work so well.
  • One of the outfits means I will be baring bits of skin that don't usually see the light of day.
small portion, small piece, piece, portion, segment, section, part;
chunk, lump, hunk, slice;
fragment, scrap, shred, flake, chip, shaving, paring, crumb, grain, fleck, speck;
spot, drop, pinch, dash, soupçon, modicum, dollop;
morsel, mouthful, spoonful, bite, taste, gobbet, sample;
iota, jot, tittle, whit, atom, particle, scintilla, mote, trace, touch, suggestion, hint, tinge;
shard, sliver;
snippet, snatch, extract, excerpt
informal smidgen, smidge, tad
Australian/New Zealand informal skerrick
North American rare smitch
1.1 (a bit) A short time or distance: I fell asleep for a bit can you move over a bit?
More example sentences
  • As this is something of a landmark survey may we be excused for pushing the boat out a bit?
  • If this means staying off the usual glass or three of wine per evening for a bit, so be it.
  • Nanna was there so we all hung out for a bit and then she helped me dye my hair black for the party.
moment, minute, second, little while, short time
informal sec, jiffy, jiff
British informal mo, tick, two ticks
soon, in a (little) while, in a second, in a minute, in a moment, in a trice, in a flash, shortly, in a short time, in (less than) no time, in no time at all, before you know it, before long, directly;
North American momentarily
British informal in a tick, in two ticks, in a mo
North American informal in a snap
archaic or informal anon
literary ere long
1.2 (a bit) A fairly large amount: working in a foreign country took quite a bit of getting used to
More example sentences
  • We're getting some fair bit of sales through and we haven't advertised.
  • The down side was that, well, Mr. B. and I fought a fair bit in those first months.
  • Yes, I mean, even though, I mean, the media has overblown some of the problems a fair bit.
2 [with adjective] informal A set of actions or ideas associated with a specific group or activity: Miranda could go off and do her theatrical bit
More example sentences
  • I'm not sure about the getting married bit, but the idea of them going off somewhere holds a certain appeal.
  • The only really entertaining bit was the thing with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
  • There's a stunning, uncredited sax solo and a quirky contrapuntal bit for the trombones.
3 informal A girl or young woman: he went and married some young bit half his age
More example sentences
  • He must have a young bit on the side.
  • I was a grown woman, with children of my own, not a young bit thing with little experience of life.
  • Or you have to sit right there and some young bit who has no training or teaching is letting their children scream for the sake of screaming!
4 (bits) British informal A person’s genitals: You could see everything! All her bits!
5North American informal dated A unit of 12 1/2 cents (used only in even multiples).
More example sentences
  • A lad with tousled fair hair came out of the livery, and Ben handed over the horse and two bits for feed and a rub down.
  • Abbey skipped up to the house, a silver bit and four coppers jingling in her apron pocket.
  • Jim paid the four bits and ate in the dining room.


Old English bita 'bite, mouthful', of Germanic origin; related to German Bissen, also to bite.


a bit

Somewhat; to some extent: he came back looking a bit annoyed
More example sentences
  • I must admit to finding it a bit slow to begin with and rather drawn out in some places.
  • This goes some way to explaining why my cupboard is a bit bare when it comes to clothes.
  • They are a good side but we were a bit better and hopefully this result shows we are now on our way.

bit by bit

Gradually: bit by bit the truth started to emerge
More example sentences
  • The lesson is, undo communism slowly, bit by bit, and don't expect democracy overnight.
  • This got wilder and wilder until, bit by bit, the entire drum set was collapsing onto the floor under the fury of this onslaught.
  • He had received medical help, was in counselling, had been given a flat and was trying bit by bit to put his life back together again.

a bit of a ——

Used to suggest that something is not severe or extreme, or is the case only to a limited extent: I have had a bit of an accident he’s a bit of a womanizer
More example sentences
  • I mean, isn't that a bit of an extreme way to describe the detention centres?
  • He's a bit of an extremist - congratulating the Islamic thugs that beat him up in Afghanistan.
  • That he is here at all, in this lovely parkland rising to the church in the trees, is a bit of an accident.
Used to denote a young person or one of slight build: you’re just a bit of a girl yourself
More example sentences
  • She was just a bit of a girl.
  • When I was nearly four years old I was just a mere bit of a girl.
  • I was just a bit of a lass back then.

a bit of all right

British informal A pleasing person or thing, especially a woman regarded in sexual terms: that blonde’s a bit of all right
More example sentences
  • It might not have been a wonderful contest but he is a bit of all right and I'm thinking more towards the spring rather than Christmas with him.
  • However, Arthur turns out to be a bit of all right - if you like the smell of Dentugrip - so Colleen ends up agreeing to a date!
  • Gotta say, the car chase at the beginning of the Professional was a bit of all right.

bit of fluff (or skirt or stuff)

British informal A woman regarded in sexual terms.
More example sentences
  • The fact that they can do this is due to (amongst other things) the glass ceiling, and the fact that many positions of authority are occupied by sleazy old men who see women as nothing more than a nice bit of skirt.
  • I loved the way she turned out to be a ruthless undercover agent and not a bit of fluff after all.
  • There is so much stuff you get put up for where you are obviously just the bit of fluff, even if you have brains and wear trousers all the time.

bit of rough

see rough.

bit on the side

British informal
1A person with whom one is unfaithful to one’s partner.
More example sentences
  • It turns out, he is not simply fond of a bit on the side (another mistress emerged this week).
  • What easier way to send a grudging acknowledgement of your lover/spouse / bit on the side than down the computer wire?
  • I know you're in love with Michael, so I'm not asking to be your boyfriend or even your bit on the side.
2Money earned outside one’s normal job: I’d like to make a bit on the side
More example sentences
  • Marlowe obliquely tells the tale of her life from the bright New Jersey kid who made it to Harvard to her time as a needle-popping rock journalist who earned a bit on the side as a drugs money launderer.
  • He earns a bit on the side by making photoreports on the film set.
  • The pocket money will not be enough to cover all living expenses, and most apprentices will therefore have to earn a bit on the side on Saturdays.

bits and pieces (or British bobs)

An assortment of small items.
More example sentences
  • We have called in to pick up a few bits and pieces, and to collect a rather expensive lamp for K's mother.
  • The actual textiles seemed to be of all kinds, a few whole garments, old socks, hankies, torn-off sleeves, j-cloths, rags, babies' stuff, bits and bobs.
  • Your poor pal has just made a terrifying investment and, as you say, is having to shell out for new furnishings and other bits and bobs.
informal junk
British informal odds and sods, gubbins, clobber
vulgar slang crap, shit
archaic rummage, truck

do one's bit

informal Make a useful contribution to an effort or cause: I was persuaded to do my bit for the environment
More example sentences
  • The refugees who made it were clearly keen to do their bit in the war effort and the factory went on to produce 66 per cent of the leather required in the whole British war effort.
  • The Goddard Arms Hotel in Old Town was packed on Friday night with people all eager to do their bit for the relief effort.
  • In that time the couple has served on a number of committees in an effort to do their bit for the Geraldton.
assist, help, lend a hand, be of service, give one's support, give one's backing, contribute, chip in, throw in one's lot;
participate, take part, join in, get involved
informal pitch in, play ball, tag along, get in on the act
British informal muck in, get stuck in

in bits

British informal Very upset or emotionally affected: she found out he was two-timing her—she’s in bits, really she is
More example sentences
  • I won by seven there, but the week before I was in bits, and the week after I was in bits.
  • At the end of his performance of Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin with pianist Helmut Deutsch, the audience was in bits and pandemonium broke out, leaving Kaufmann looking slightly bemused at the sensation he had caused.
  • A neighbour who did not want to be identified said: ‘Everybody has been left in bits and there was nothing anyone could do.’

not a bit

Not at all: I’m not a bit tired
More example sentences
  • I'm not a bit surprised that other people are interested in Steve, not a bit.
  • And as our bill is tabulated by the fresh-faced high school boy behind the register, we would grab all the Safety-Pops we could and not feel guilty, not a bit.
  • But at the same time it didn't surprise me, not a bit.

not a bit of it

British Not at all: Am I being unduly cynical? Not a bit of it
More example sentences
  • After the torrential rain on Saturday, we had thought the event might be a bit of a wash-out, but not a bit of it.
  • It sounds like a recipe for gross self-indulgence, but not a bit of it: ‘I've actually lost nearly a stone and a half since coming here.’
  • When the Express closed, and then later the ill - fated Scottish Daily News, you'd have thought the bar would close but not a bit of it.

to bits

1Into pieces: both cars were smashed to bits
More example sentences
  • MATZILATION - Smashing a piece of matzo to bits while trying to butter it.
  • Standing in front of him, he longed to slowly carve Jaegar to pieces and burn those pieces to bits.
  • Yin Yan, a lawyer at Beijing Jingyi Lawyer's Office, said knocking the car to bits was definitely the wrong thing to do.
2 informal Very much; to a great degree: Vicky was thrilled to bits I just love him to bits
More example sentences
  • I love it to bits, all of it, especially the wonderfully ingenious and gorgeous to look at early optical devices, and the engravings of such inventions.
  • He meant everything to me and I loved him to bits.
  • I loved it to bits, although a little let down by the end.

Definition of bit in:

There are 4 main definitions of bit in English:


Line breaks: bit
Pronunciation: /bɪt


1A mouthpiece, typically made of metal, which is attached to a bridle and used to control a horse.
More example sentences
  • You can also go shopping at the C Quarter Circle Saddlery for saddles, bridles, bits, spurs and much more!
  • In the tackroom where the bridles, bits, snaffles, girths and whips were hanging on the wall, Jackson asked me about everything.
  • It seems there are different opinions as to whether the rein attached to the bit should be left on, in addition to the direct one.
2A tool or piece for boring or drilling: a drill bit
More example sentences
  • He's wearing a belt with screwdrivers, drill bits, spanners, hacksaws and nails lodged in every pocket.
  • Drilling can be done with many of the same tools you use for drilling wood or metal, including twist drills, brad point drill bits, spade bits or a hole saw with a pilot bit.
  • The trail down to the foot of the falls was all but vertical, a white-knuckle descent by means of chains and old drill bits hammered into the rock.
2.1The cutting or gripping part of a plane, pincers, or other tool.
More example sentences
  • They were Rris-built devices, requiring two Rris to power the treadle turning the shaft, but the bits and cutting blades were of improved carbon steel.
  • The way to change the cutting depth of the bit varies among different router types, makes, and models.
  • Align the pilot bit of the hole saw with the center point you marked earlier in the face of the door, and begin drilling.
2.2The part of a key that engages with the lock lever.
More example sentences
  • The next step in the evolution of locks was the invention of the "bit".
  • It has lever tumblers that require a key with a bit, or projecting part, of proper depth and position.
  • To take the impression the bit of a flat blank key of the correct size was covered with a layer of wax.
2.3The copper head of a soldering iron.
More example sentences
  • The soldering iron bit should be cleaned.
  • The bit then fits over or inside the heating element dependent on the design of the soldering iron.
  • The bit may be heated in many different ways.


[with object] Back to top  
Put a bit into the mouth of (a horse).
More example sentences
  • However, they can experience behavioral problems when ridden, many coming back to bad experiences with what type of bit was used and how they were initially bitted.
  • I began long-lining him and bitting him up, teaching him that there was more to life than galloping in a straight line.
  • What Is The Best Way To Bit A Horse?


Old English bite 'biting, a bite', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch beet and German Biss, also to bite.


above the bit

(Of a horse) carrying its head too high so that it evades correct contact with the bit.
More example sentences
  • He's above the bit, and your legs are a hair too far forward.
  • The horse went above the bit means an absence of contact with the rider's hands, legs, and seat, also leading to loss of impulsion.
  • Further in front of that point the horse will be above the bit, and the action of the reins will not be able to go through because of stiffness.

behind the bit

(Of a horse) carrying its head with the chin tucked in so that it evades contact with the bit.
More example sentences
  • When the horse comes too low and behind the bit, there must be something else going on at the same time.
  • Such riders should be able to get a colt to yield without gimmicks because there is always danger of getting a horse behind the bit through their use.
  • It would also be a mistake to let the horse lag behind the bit; the trainer must, therefore, create and maintain the proper tempo and rhythm.

get (or take or have) the bit between (or North American in) one's teeth

Begin to tackle a problem or task in a determined or independent way.
More example sentences
  • I've got the bit in my teeth with this show and I'm very determined to take it as far as it will go.
  • Mencken believed that the human race would accomplish greater things if the halt and lame were left to themselves and the bright and swift took the bit between their teeth.
  • And one of the big questions is whether he's going to be able to really get the bit in his teeth.

off the bit (or bridle)

(Of a horse) ridden on a loose rein to allow it to gallop freely.
More example sentences
  • Most of the runners are off the bridle while Shergar is cantering.
  • Norman knew he would stay and even though he was a bit off the bridle round the turn he just kept on galloping.
  • He was the first horse off the bridle, but he kept coming on ground which certainly wasn't ideal for him.

on the bit (or bridle)

(Of a horse) ridden with a light but firm contact on the mouth.
More example sentences
  • It takes a lot of practice, but eventually you'll be able to advance to a faster trot and even a canter and still keep your horse on the bit without getting into a pulling match.
  • Barry Geraghty, on Kicking King, had been cruising in behind the lead from the off, and he was still on the bridle as he cantered clear going to the home turn.
  • ‘My horse left the gate and was on the bit,’ Berry said.



[in combination]: a double-bitted axe

Definition of bit in:

There are 4 main definitions of bit in English:


Line breaks: bit
Pronunciation: /bɪt


A unit of information expressed as either a 0 or 1 in binary notation.
More example sentences
  • For example, is it important to discuss computer bits, bytes, disk drives and the like in an agricultural mechanics textbook?
  • I now know there are eight bits in a byte, and 1024 megabytes in a gigabyte.
  • The interesting thing is to watch them write a subroutine that counts all the bits in a byte, then ask them to make it much, much faster.


1940s: blend of binary and digit.

Definition of bit in: