Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

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'

bit

2 noun
     
Related topics: Horses, Computers, Tools
bit2 S1 W1 [countable]
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 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.
2

part

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?
3

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.
4TD

computer

TD the smallest unit of information that a computer uses:
a 32-bit processor
5

tool

TZ the sharp part of a tool for cutting or making holes:
a drill bit
6

horse

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)
7

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.
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

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
10

money

a)

two bits/four bits

American English informal 25 cents or 50 cents
b) PEC British English old-fashioned a small coin
11

pull something to bits

British English informal to criticize something strongly:
The critics pulled his new play to bits.
12

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.
13

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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