/ bɪt; NAmE / noun
a bit [ sing. ] (used as an adverb) ( especially BrE ) rather
SYN a little :
These trousers are a bit tight.
'Are you tired?' 'Yes, I am a bit.'
It costs a bit more than I wanted to spend.
I can lend you fifty pounds, if you want. That should help a bit.
a bit [ sing. ] ( especially BrE ) a short time or distance :
Wait a bit!
Can you move up a bit?
Greg thought for a bit before answering.
[ C ] bit of sth ( especially BrE ) a small amount or piece of sth :
some useful bits of information
With a bit of luck , we'll be there by 12.
I've got a bit of shopping to do.
a bit of cake
bits of grass / paper
PART OF STH
[ C ] ( especially BrE ) a part of sth larger :
The best bit of the holiday was seeing the Grand Canyon.
The school play was a huge success—the audience roared with laughter at all the funny bits.
[ sing. ] a ~ (of sth) ( informal , especially BrE ) a large amount :
'How much does he earn?' 'Quite a bit!'
The new system will take a bit of getting used to (= it will take a long time to get used to) .
[ C ] the smallest unit of information used by a computer
[ C ] a metal bar that is put in a horse's mouth so that the rider can control it
[ C ] a tool or part of a tool for drilling (= making) holes
—picture at drill
—see also drill
( NAmE , informal ) an amount of money equal to 12½ cents
bits [ pl. ] ( BrE , informal ) a person's sexual organs
—see also bite , bit , bitten verb
- the (whole) ... bit
- bit by bit
- a bit much
- a bit of a ...
- a bit of all right
- a bit of rough
- a bit on the side
- bits and pieces / bobs
- do your bit
- every bit as good, bad, etc. (as sb/sth)
- get the bit between your teeth
- not a bit | not one (little) bit
- not a bit of it!
- to bits
—more at blind adjective , champ verb
BRITISH / AMERICAN
a bit / a little
In BrE it is common to use a bit to mean 'slightly' or 'to a small extent':
These shoes are a bit tight.
I'll be a bit later home tomorrow.
Can you turn the volume up a bit?
It is more common in NAmE to say a little , or ( informal ) a little bit . You can also use these phrases in BrE :
These shoes are a little bit too tight.
I'll be a little later home tomorrow.
Can you turn the volume up a little bit?
senses 1 to 5 and senses 9 to 10 Old English bita bite, mouthful , of Germanic origin; related to German Bissen , also to bite .
senses 7 to 8 Old English bite biting, a bite , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch beet and German Biss , also to bite .
sense 6 1940s: blend of binary and digit .