Topic: TOOLS

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'


2 noun
bit2 S1 W1 [countable]


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 something 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.


British English 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?

to bits

British English 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.


TD the smallest unit of information that a computer uses:
a 32-bit processor


TZ the sharp part of a tool for cutting or making holes:
a drill bit


DSH 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

at champ1 (2)

bits and pieces

also bits and bobs British English informal any small things of various kinds:
Let me get all my bits and pieces together.

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.

get the bit between your teeth

British English take the bit between your teeth American English to do something or deal with something in a very determined way, so that you are not likely to stop until it is done



two bits/four bits

American English informal 25 cents or 50 cents
b) PEC British English old-fashioned a small coin

pull something to bits

British English informal to criticize something strongly:
The critics pulled his new play to bits.

typical behaviour/experience

informal 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.

be in bits

British English spoken informal to be extremely upset because something unpleasant or disappointing has happened:
She was in bits after the race, and looked totally gutted.

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