1 adverb, pronoun
bit1 S1 W1

only slightly

a bit

especially British English
a) slightly or to a small degree [= a little]:
Could you turn the TV up 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.


a bit

especially British English 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 note few

quite a lot

quite a bit

also a good bit British English 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 British English 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.

a bit of a something

especially British English 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.

not a bit/not one bit

especially British English 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.

every bit as important/bad/good etc

especially British English used to emphasize that something is equally important, bad etc as something else:
Jodi plays every bit as well as the men.

bit by bit

especially British English gradually:
Bit by bit, I was starting to change my mind.

a/one bit at a time

especially British English in several small parts or stages:
Memorize it a bit at a time.

take a bit of doing/explaining etc

British English to be difficult to do, explain etc:
The new system took a bit of getting used to.

be a bit much

British English to be unacceptable, impolite, or unfair:
It's a bit much when he criticizes us for doing something that he does himself.

be a bit of all right

British English informal used to say that someone is sexually attractive

bit on the side

British English 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.

a bit of stuff/fluff/skirt

British English informal not polite offensive expressions meaning a young woman, especially one who is sexually attractive

a bit of rough

British English informal someone of a lower social class that someone has a sexual relationship with - used humorously

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).

Dictionary results for "bit"
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