Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR BIT

He doesn't look a bit healthy and hasn't since he quit eating breakfast.

He looked absently at the sandwich, and bit a generous semicircle into it.

But say, that yellow-haired woman, she ain't a bit diffident, is she?

"I'll walk a bit with you," said his sister, donning her jacket and a cap.

The blow was a bit too severe and the Egyptian fell down dead.

A broken kitchen knife had been thrust through a bit of the paper on the box.

All you had to do when you got it inside a man was to turn it round a bit, and the wound gaped and tore.

Their cat came over the garden wall and bit off the blades of the irises.

It was an express order for two hundred francs, in payment of a bit of verse.

And yet he had small occasion to keep up on the bit as he rode her.

WORD ORIGIN

"small piece," c.1200; related Old English bite "act of biting," and bita "piece bitten off," probably are the source of the modern words meaning "boring-piece of a drill" (1590s), "mouthpiece of a horse's bridle" (mid-14c.), and "a piece bitten off, morsel" (c.1000). All from Proto-Germanic *biton (cf. Old Saxon biti, Old Norse bit, Old Frisian bite, Middle Dutch bete, Old High German bizzo "biting," German Bissen "a bite, morsel"), from PIE root *bheid- "to split" (see fissure).

Meaning "small piece, fragment" is from c.1600. Sense of "short space of time" is 1650s. Theatrical bit part is from 1909. Money sense in two bits, etc. is originally from Southern U.S. and West Indies, in reference to silver wedges cut or stamped from Spanish dollars (later Mexican reals); transferred to "eighth of a dollar."

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR BIT

acre

nounpiece of land, unit of area

acres

nounpiece of land, unit of area
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.