• WordNet 3.6
    • n bit the cutting part of a drill; usually pointed and threaded and is replaceable in a brace or bitstock or drill press "he looked around for the right size bit"
    • n bit piece of metal held in horse's mouth by reins and used to control the horse while riding "the horse was not accustomed to a bit"
    • n bit the part of a key that enters a lock and lifts the tumblers
    • n bit a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program "he did his act three times every evening","she had a catchy little routine","it was one of the best numbers he ever did"
    • n bit a small fragment "overheard snatches of their conversation"
    • n bit an instance of some kind "it was a nice piece of work","he had a bit of good luck"
    • n bit a small amount of solid food; a mouthful "all they had left was a bit of bread"
    • n bit a small fragment of something broken off from the whole "a bit of rock caught him in the eye"
    • n bit a unit of measurement of information (from binary + digit); the amount of information in a system having two equiprobable states "there are 8 bits in a byte"
    • n bit a small piece or quantity of something "a spot of tea","a bit of paper","a bit of lint","I gave him a bit of my mind"
    • n bit an indefinitely short time "wait just a moment","in a mo","it only takes a minute","in just a bit"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Whetting a Plane-Bit Whetting a Plane-Bit
Brad-Awl.  Twist-Drill.   German Gimlet-Bit.  Bit-Point Drill. Twist-Bit.  Auger-Bit Brad-Awl. Twist-Drill. German Gimlet-Bit. Bit-Point Drill. Twist-Bit. Auger-Bit
Plug-Cutter.  Center-Bit.  Foerstner Auger-Bit.  Expansive-Bit.  Reamer.  Rose Countersink Plug-Cutter. Center-Bit. Foerstner Auger-Bit. Expansive-Bit. Reamer. Rose Countersink
Inserting a Bit in Stock Inserting a Bit in Stock
Screwdriver.  Screwdriver-Bit.  Spiral Screwdriver Screwdriver. Screwdriver-Bit. Spiral Screwdriver
Holder for Grinding Chisels or Plane-Bits Holder for Grinding Chisels or Plane-Bits

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The best time for a person to buy shoes is in the afternoon. This is because the foot tends to swell a bit around this time
    • Bit 3d sing. pr. of Bid, for biddeth.
    • Bit imp. & p. p. of Bite.
    • Bit 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.
    • Bit A tool for boring, of various forms and sizes, usually turned by means of a brace or bitstock. See Bitstock.
    • Bit Fig.: Anything which curbs or restrains.
    • n Bit In the British West Indies, a fourpenny piece, or groat.
    • Bit 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.
    • Bit Somewhat; something, but not very great. "My young companion was a bit of a poet."
    • Bit The cutting iron of a plane.
    • Bit 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. "The foamy bridle with the bit of gold."
    • Bit The part of a key which enters the lock and acts upon the bolt and tumblers.
    • v. t Bit To put a bridle upon; to put the bit in the mouth of.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Frederick the great had his coffee made with champagne and a bit of mustard.
    • n bit The act of biting; a bite.
    • n bit The action of biting food; eating; grazing.
    • n bit The biting, cutting, or penetrating action of an edged weapon or tool.
    • n bit The biting, catching, holding, cutting, or boring part of a tool. Specifically— The cutting blade of an ax, hatchet, plane, drill, etc.
    • n bit A boring-tool used in a carpenter's brace. Bits are of various kinds, and are applied in a variety of ways. The similar tool used for metal, and applied by the drill-bow, ratchet, brace, lathe, or drilling-machine, is termed a drill, or drill-bit. See auger, borer, drill, center-bit, gouge-bit, quill-bit, rose-bit, shell-bit, spoon-bit, and phrases below.
    • n bit The metal part of a bridle which is inserted in the mouth of a horse, with the appendages (rings, etc.) to which the reins are fastened.
    • n bit The joint of an umbrella.
    • n bit A hammer used by masons for dressing granite and for rough picking.
    • n bit In music, a short piece of tube used to alter slightly the pitch of such wind-instruments as the trumpet, cornet-à-pistons, etc.
    • bit To put a bridle upon; put the bit in the mouth of (a horse); accustom to the bit; hence, to curb; restrain.
    • n bit A portion of food bitten off; a mouthful; a bite.
    • n bit A morsel or a little piece of food.
    • n bit Hence A small quantity of food; a modicum or moderate supply of provisions: as, to take a bit and a sup.
    • n bit A small piece or fragment of anything; a small portion or quantity; a little: as, a bit of glass; a bit of land; a bit of one's mind. The word is often used in certain phrases expressive of extent or degree; thus, “a bit older” means somewhat older, older to some extent; “not a bit,” not a whit, not in any degree; “a good bit older,” a good deal older; “a bit of a humorist,” somewhat of a humorist, etc. It is used depreciatingly or compassionately: as, a little bit of a man; bits of children, that is, poor little children.
    • n bit Crisis; nick of time.
    • n bit A small piece of ground; a spot.
    • n bit Any small coin: as, a fourpenny-bit; a six-penny-bit. Specifically, the name of a small West Indian coin worth about 10 cents; also, in parts of the United States, of a silver coin formerly current (in some States called a Mexican shilling), of the value of 12½ cents; now, chiefly in the West, the sum of 12½ cents.
    • n bit Synonyms Scrap, fragment, morsel, particle, atom.
    • n bit Preterit and occasional past participle of bite.
    • n bit A Middle English and Anglo-Saxon contraction of biddeth, third person singular indicative present of bid.
    • n bit An obsolete spelling of bitt.
    • n bit A Middle English form of butt.
    • n bit In mining: The cutting edge of a drill for boring rock by hand or by machine drilling.
    • n bit A sharpened steel bar used for drilling rock by hand or by machine. A chisel-bit has a simple cutting edge, a cross-bit has two cutting edges crossing each other at right angles; similarly the X-bit, the L-bit, the horseshoe-bit, and the crown-bit have cutting edges disposed as indicated by the several names.
    • n bit In ceramics, a small piece of stone for separating the pieces of pottery in the kiln: used before the invention of stilts, cock-spurs, and triangles. Ware so made was called bit-stone ware.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1964 General Mills began marketing Lucky Charms cereal with pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. The marshmallow bits (technically referred to as marbits) were invented in 1963 by John Holahan. The cereal is marketed using a leprechaun character named Lucky (L.C. Leprechaun is his full name) that touts his cereal as being "Magically Delicious." Over the years the various shapes and colors of the marshmallow bits in the cereal have undergone many changes.
    • n Bit bit a bite, a morsel: a small piece: the smallest degree: a small tool for boring (see Brace): the part of the bridle which the horse holds in his mouth (see Bridle)—hence, To take the bit in his teeth, to be beyond restraint
    • v.t Bit to put the bit in the mouth; to curb or restrain:—pr.p. bit′ting; pa.p. bit′ted
    • ***


  • Arthur Ashe
    Arthur Ashe
    “Every time you win, it diminishes the fear a little bit. You never really cancel the fear of losing; you keep challenging it.”
  • Proverb
    “A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses.”
  • Jacques Prevert
    Jacques Prevert
    “Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.”
  • Billy Graham
    “Everybody has a little bit of Watergate in him.”
  • Isadora Duncan
    “Perhaps he was a bit different from other people, but what really sympathetic person is not a little mad?”
  • Hale Irwin
    Hale Irwin
    “If you're not just a little bit nervous before a match, you probably don't have the expectations of yourself that you should have.”


A bit much - If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much.
Bit between your teeth - If you take or have the bit between your teeth, you take or have control of a situation. (Bit = piece of metal in a horse's mouth)
Bit part - If someone has a small or unimportant role in something, they have a bit part.
Bit player - A bit player has a small or unimportant role in something.
Bits and bobs - Bits and bobs are small, remnant articles and things- the same as 'odds and ends'.
Champ at the bit - If someone is champing at the bit, they are very eager to accomplish something. ('Chomping at the bit' is also used.)
Champing at the bit - To betray impatience, as to begin some action. "I'm champing at the bit to tell you" "Chomping at the bit" is also commonly used, though some regard it as an error.
Chomping at the bit - If you are chomping at the bit, you are eager to start on a task immediately.
Nip at the bit - If someone is nipping at the bit, they are anxious to get something done and don't want to wait.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

Sitting there in the firelight, with her loving eyes following his movements, she told him, bit by bit, all the latest gossip of Dinwiddie.
"Virginia" by Ellen Glasgow
Bit by bit the glamour with which he had viewed the school was wearing off.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
Easy, Macnab, don't force the horses up this steep bit.
"The Children of Wilton Chase" by Mrs. L. T. Meade
A second shot quickly followed and I thought the figure in the canoe lurched to one side a bit.
"A Virginia Scout" by Hugh Pendexter
Sit you down, Goodsoul, just for one little bit of minute.
"Reels and Spindles" by Evelyn Raymond
Bits of old embroidery harmonizing with the peacock shades were spread here and there.
"The Rough Road" by William John Locke
Another fiery scourge, wielded by the Hand Unseen, bit deep into his shrinking conscience, into his writhing soul.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
The idiot says if he had a stout bit of whipcord, he could make it square.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
One window was full of magazines and papers, and she read bits here and there.
"A Modern Cinderella" by Amanda M. Douglas
I have suddenly wakened up to the fact that Struthers is getting on a bit.
"The Prairie Child" by Arthur Stringer

In poetry:

Li'l bit er trouble,
Honey, fer terday;
Yander come Termorrer—
Shine it all away!
"A Song Of To-Morrow" by Frank Lebby Stanton
Your shoulder blades are twisted back,
My masterpieces!
Stick stars in your snatches and shake
Them to bits!
"My Little Lovelies" by Arthur Rimbaud
We need no crown or sceptre,
for now that it is spring,
just a little bit of garden—
and every man's a king!
"A Little Bit Of Garden" by William Henry Ogilvie
"Our governess is not in school,
So we may talk a bit;
Sit down upon this little stool,
Come, little Mary, sit:
"The End Of May" by Charles Lamb
Oh modern singers, ye who vote
Our times for song unfit,
Your Pegasus is smooth of coat
And patient of the bit;
"Six Studies In Exotic Forms Of Verse" by Emily Pfeiffer
The moral to this little bit
Is anything you make of it.
Such recondite philosophy
Is far away too much for me.
"Metaphysics" by Franklin Pierce Adams

In news:

But, with a little bit of curry and creamy coconut broth, I find that taking the time to eat my vegetables is just a little bit easier.
Kevin and Jennifer McCoy have won worldwide attention for installations such as "Scary Things" and "Special Things," which she describes as "a little bit disarming and a little bit goofy".
The worlds greatest actor may have had a bit to much to drink, and is now in a little bit of trouble.
Zac Brown Band fans know that the group's music is like Donny & Marie—a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll.
Before my food bank experience, I knew that "to glean " was to acquire something by effort and usually bit by bit.
Bit by bit, the University of Pennsylvania is emerging from its redbrick rut.
"A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend".
When Trinh Duong goes to work these days, she does so with a bit more fear—and a bit more resolve—than usual.
Perhaps you've eaten a bit more than you intended, and feel the need for a bit of exercise.
Groff's dark, lyrical examination of life on a commune follows Bit, aka Little Bit, aka Ridley Sorrel Stone, born in the late '60s in a spot that will become Arcadia, a utopian community his parents help to form.
Bit by bit, Karsten Nohl is taking apart your phone.
That way, "applications who need it can enjoy the performance of the 64-bit mode, but with the memory requirements of a 32-bit ABI," as the kernel 's release notes explain.
"Bits about bits" help broadcasters find and manage their content.
More critically, he came across as condescending and even rude to his opponent, a bit of bad behavior especially evident because Obama may have overdone the fair- minded bit in many of his remarks and answers.
How many bits for 64 bits.

In science:

Vernam cipher : It is proven secure but it can not produce more absolutely secure bits than the shared secret bits.
A simple unbreakable code
Data encryption standard and public key distribution system : These are widely used cryptosystems because they can produce more computational ly secure bits than the shared secret bits.
A simple unbreakable code
In the presented cipher system, always in the string of random bits, there are real and pseudo-bits (fake bits).
A simple unbreakable code
Real bits contain key material and pseudo-bits are to mislead eavesdropper.
A simple unbreakable code
Sender encodes the sequence of real bits on to the fixed real bit positions and encodes the sequence of pseudobits on to the fixed pseudo-bit positions.
A simple unbreakable code