bit1 W1S1 [bıt] adv, pron
1¦(only slightly)¦
3¦(quite a lot)¦
5 a bit of a something
6 not a bit/not one bit
7 every bit as important/bad/good etc
8 bit by bit
9 a/one bit at a time
10 take a bit of doing/explaining etc
11 be a bit much
12 be a bit of all right
13 bit on the side
14 a bit of stuff/fluff/skirt
15 a bit of rough
a bitespecially BrE
a) slightly or to a small degree
= ↑a little
Could you turn the TV up a bit?
Try to relax a bit.
That's a bit odd.
'Are you sorry to be leaving?' 'Yes, I am a bit.'
Aren't you being a little bit unfair?
I think you're a bit too young to be watching this.
She looks a bit like my sister.
a bit better/older/easier etc
I feel a bit better now.
b) sometimes, but not very often
I used to act a bit when I was younger.
2.) ¦(AMOUNT)¦
a bit
especially BrE informal a small amount of a substance or of something that is not a physical object
= ↑a little a bit of
I may need a bit of help.
He still likes to do a bit of gardening.
I want to spend a bit of time with him before he goes.
With a bit of luck we should have finished by five o'clock.
Everyone needs a little bit of encouragement.
'Would you like cream in your coffee?' 'Yes please, just a bit.'
a bit more/less
Can we have a bit less noise please?
see usage notefew
3.) ¦(QUITE A LOT)¦
quite a bit also a good bit BrE
a fairly large amount or to a fairly large degree
She's quite a bit older than you, isn't she?
He knows quite a bit about painting.
quite a bit of
I expect you do quite a bit of travelling?
quite a bit more/less
They're worth quite a bit more than I thought.
a bit
especially BrE a short period of time or a short distance
= ↑a while
You'll have to wait a bit.
in a bit
I'll see you in a bit.
for a bit
We sat around for a bit chatting.
I walked on a bit and then turned back.
5.) a bit of a sth
especially BrE used to show that the way you describe something is only true to a limited degree
The news came as a bit of a shock.
I felt a bit of a fool.
It looks like they left in a bit of a hurry.
6.) not a bit/not one bit
especially BrE not at all
You're not a bit like your brother.
Am I cross? No, not a bit of it .
I'm not in the least bit interested in whose fault it is.
Well, you haven't surprised me, not one bit.
7.) every bit as important/bad/good etc
especially BrE used to emphasize that something is equally important, bad etc as something else
Jodi plays every bit as well as the men.
8.) bit by bit
especially BrE gradually
Bit by bit, I was starting to change my mind.
9.) a/one bit at a time
especially BrE in several small parts or stages
Try to improve your lifestyle a bit at a time.
10.) take a bit of doing/explaining etc
BrE to be difficult to do, explain etc
The new system took a bit of getting used to.
11.) be a bit much
BrE to be unacceptable, impolite, or unfair
It's a bit much when he criticizes us for doing something that he does himself.
12.) be a bit of all right
BrE informal used to say that someone is sexually attractive
13.) bit on the side
BrE informal someone's bit on the side is a person they are having a sexual relationship with, even though they already have a wife, husband, or partner - used humorously or to show disapproval
She stayed in the hope that he'd tire of his bit on the side.
14.) a bit of stuff/fluff/skirt
BrE informal not polite offensive expressions meaning a young woman, especially one who is sexually attractive
15.) a bit of rough
BrE informal someone of a lower social class that someone has a sexual relationship with - used humorously
WORD CHOICE: a bit, a bit of
Use a bit before an adjective, not before a noun, nor before an adjective+noun : He's a bit shy (NOT a bit shy man).
Before a noun or adjective+noun, use a bit of : Let's listen to a bit of music (NOT a bit music). |It was a bit of a strange decision (NOT a bit strange decision).
You can also use a bit after the main verb : I cried a bit (NOT a bit cried).
bit 2
bit2 W1S1 n
3 to bits
7 bits and pieces
8 do your bit
9 get the bit between your teeth
11 pull something to bits
12¦(typical behaviour/experience)¦
[Sense: 1-3, 7-12; Origin: Old English bita 'piece bitten off, small piece of food']
[Sense: 4; Date: 1900-2000; Origin: binary digit]
[Sense: 5-6; Origin: Old English bite 'act of biting']
1.) ¦(PIECE)¦
a small piece of something
bit of
bits of broken glass
He wedged the door open with a bit of wood.
break/rip/shake etc sth to bits
The aircraft was blown to bits.
He's taken the engine to bits .
fall/come to bits
The old house was falling to bits.
2.) ¦(PART)¦
BrE informal a part of something larger
This is the boring bit.
bit of
We did the last bit of the journey on foot.
bit about
Did you like the bit about the monkey?
3.) to bits
BrE informal very much or extremely
Mark's a darling, I love him to bits .
thrilled/chuffed/pleased to bits
I've always wanted a car, so I'm thrilled to bits.
4.) ¦(COMPUTER)¦
the smallest unit of information that a computer uses
a 32-bit processor
5.) ¦(TOOL)¦
the sharp part of a tool for cutting or making holes
a drill bit
6.) ¦(HORSE)¦
the metal bar attached to a horse's ↑bridle that is put into its mouth and used to control it
be champing at the bit atchamp1 (2)
7.) bits and pieces also bits and bobs BrE informal any small things of various kinds
Let me get all my bits and pieces together.
8.) do your bit informal
to do a fair share of the work, effort etc that is needed to achieve something good or important
Everyone should do their bit for the environment.
9.) get the bit between your teeth
BrE take the bit between your teeth AmE
to do something or deal with something in a very determined way, so that you are not likely to stop until it is done
10.) ¦(MONEY)¦
a) two bits/four bits
AmE informal 25 cents or 50 cents
b) BrE old-fashioned a small coin
a threepenny bit
11.) pull sth to bits
BrE informal to criticize something strongly
The critics pulled his new play to bits.
used to mean a kind of behaviour or experience that is typical of someone or something
the (whole) student/movie star/travelling etc bit
Then she gave us the concerned mother bit.
bit 3
the past tense of ↑bite

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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