A cheat; one who bites us. “The biter bit” explains the
origin. We say “a man was bitten” when he “burns his fingers” meddling
with something which promised well but turned out a failure.
To bite the dust,
as “Their enemies shall bite the dust,” i.e.
be slain in
To bite one's thumb at another. To insult; to provoke to a
“Gregory. I will frown as I pass by: and let them take it as
“Sampson. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.” —Shakespeare: Romeo
and Juliet, i. 1.
To bite the lip,
indicative of suppressed chagrin, passion, or annoyance.
“She had to bite her lips till the blood came in order to keep down
the angry words that would rise in her heart.” —Mrs. Gaskell: Mary
Barton, chap. xi.
To bite upon the bridle.
To champ the bit, like an impatient or restless horse.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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