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1 definition found
 for To bite the tongue
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Bite \Bite\ (b[imac]t), v. t. [imp. Bit (b[i^]t); p. p.
     Bitten (b[i^]t"t'n), Bit; p. pr. & vb. n. Biting.] [OE.
     biten, AS. b[imac]tan; akin to D. bijten, OS. b[imac]tan,
     OHG. b[imac]zan, G. beissen, Goth. beitan, Icel. b[imac]ta,
     Sw. bita, Dan. bide, L. findere to cleave, Skr. bhid to
     cleave. [root]87. Cf. Fissure.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. To seize with the teeth, so that they enter or nip the
        thing seized; to lacerate, crush, or wound with the teeth;
        as, to bite an apple; to bite a crust; the dog bit a man.
        [1913 Webster]
              Such smiling rogues as these,
              Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. To puncture, abrade, or sting with an organ (of some
        insects) used in taking food.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. To cause sharp pain, or smarting, to; to hurt or injure,
        in a literal or a figurative sense; as, pepper bites the
        mouth. "Frosts do bite the meads." --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. To cheat; to trick; to take in. [Colloq.] --Pope.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. To take hold of; to hold fast; to adhere to; as, the
        anchor bites the ground.
        [1913 Webster]
              The last screw of the rack having been turned so
              often that its purchase crumbled, . . . it turned
              and turned with nothing to bite.      --Dickens.
        [1913 Webster]
     To bite the dust, To bite the ground, to fall in the
        agonies of death; as, he made his enemy bite the dust.
     To bite in (Etching), to corrode or eat into metallic
        plates by means of an acid.
     To bite the thumb at (any one), formerly a mark of
        contempt, designed to provoke a quarrel; to defy. "Do you
        bite your thumb at us?" --Shak.
     To bite the tongue, to keep silence. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]

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