— bitless , adj.
/bit/ , n. , v. , bitted, bitting .
a. a removable drilling or boring tool for use in a brace, drill press, or the like.
b. a removable boring head used on certain kinds of drills, as a rock drill.
c. a device for drilling oil wells or the like, consisting of a horizontally rotating blade or an assembly of rotating toothed wheels.
2. the mouthpiece of a bridle, having fittings at each end to which the reins are fastened. See illus. under harness .
3. anything that curbs or restrains.
4. the blade or iron of a carpenter's plane.
5. the cutting part of an ax or hatchet.
6. the wide portion at the end of an ordinary key that moves the bolt.
7. take the bit in or between one's teeth , to cast off control; willfully go one's own way: He took the bit in his teeth and acted against his parents' wishes.
8. to put a bit in the mouth of (a horse).
9. to curb or restrain with, or as with, a bit.
10. to grind a bit on (a key).
[ bef. 900; ME bite, OE: action of biting; c. G Biss, ON bit. See BITE ]
/bit/ , n.
1. a small piece or quantity of anything: a bit of string.
2. a short time: Wait a bit.
3. Informal. an amount equivalent to 12 1 / 2 U.S. cents (used only in even multiples): two bits; six bits.
4. an act, performance, or routine: She's doing the Camille bit, pretending to be near collapse.
5. a stereotypic or habitual set of behaviors, attitudes, or styles associated with an individual, role, situation, etc.: the whole Wall Street bit.
6. Also called bit part . a very small role, as in a play or motion picture, containing few or no lines. Cf. walk-on (def. 1).
7. any small coin: a threepenny bit.
8. a Spanish or Mexican silver real worth 12 1 / 2 cents, formerly current in parts of the U.S.
9. a bit , rather or somewhat; a little: a bit sleepy.
10. a bit much , somewhat overdone or beyond tolerability.
11. bit by bit , by degrees; gradually: Having saved money bit by bit, they now had enough to buy the land.
12. do one's bit , to contribute one's share to an effort: They all did their bit during the war.
13. every bit , quite; just: every bit as good.
14. quite a bit , a fairly large amount: There's quite a bit of snow on the ground.
[ bef. 1000; ME bite, OE bita bit, morsel; c. G Bissen, ON biti. See BITE ]
Syn. 1. particle, speck, grain, mite; whit, iota, jot; scrap, fragment.
/bit/ , n. Computers.
1. Also called binary digit . a single, basic unit of information, used in connection with computers and information theory.
[ 1945-50; B(INARY) + (DIG)IT ]
/bit/ , v.
pt. and a pp. of bite .