bit ( bits plural )
1 A bitof something is a small amount of it.
a bit quant QUANT of n-uncount
All it required was a bit of work..., I got paid a little bit of money.
2 A bit means to a small extent or degree. It is sometimes used to make a statement less extreme.
a bit phrase PHR adj/adv/prep (vagueness)
This girl was a bit strange..., She looks a bit like his cousin Maureen..., That sounds a bit technical..., Isn't that a bit harsh?
3 You can use a bit of to make a statement less forceful. For example, the statement `It's a bit of a nuisance' is less forceful than `It's a nuisance'.
a bit of a phrase PHR n (vagueness)
It's all a bit of a mess..., This comes as a bit of a disappointment.
4 Quite a bit means quite a lot.
quite a bit phrase PHR of n, PHR after v, PHR compar
They're worth quite a bit of money..., Things have changed quite a bit..., He's quite a bit older than me.
5 You use a bit before `more' or `less' to mean a small amount more or a small amount less.
a bit phrase PHR more/less
I still think I have a bit more to offer..., Maybe we'll hear a little bit less noise.
6 If you do something a bit, you do it for a short time. In British English, you can also say that you do something for a bit.
a bit, for a bit phrase PHR with v
Let's wait a bit..., I hope there will be time to talk a bit..., That should keep you busy for a bit.
7 n-count A bitof something is a small part or section of it.
(mainly BRIT) with supp, oft N of n
That's the bit of the meeting that I missed..., Now comes the really important bit..., The best bit was walking along the glacier.
8 n-count A bit of something is a small piece of it.
(mainly BRIT) usu N of n
Only a bit of string looped round a nail in the doorpost held it shut., ...crumpled bits of paper.
9 n-count You can use bit to refer to a particular item or to one of a group or set of things. For example, a bitof information is an item of information.
usu N of n
There was one bit of vital evidence which helped win the case..., Not one single bit of work has been started towards the repair of this road.
10 n-count In computing, a bit is the smallest unit of information that is held in a computer's memory. It is either 1 or 0. Several bits form a byte.
11 n-count A bit is 12<fract (AM) 1/2</fract cents; mainly used in expressions such as two bits, which means 25 cents, or four bits, which means 50 cents.
12 Bit is the past tense of bite.
13 If something happens bit by bit, it happens in stages.
bit by bit phrase PHR with v
Bit by bit I began to understand what they were trying to do.
14 If someone is champing at the bit or is chomping at the bit, they are very impatient to do something, but they are prevented from doing it, usually by circumstances that they have no control over.
champ at the bit/chomp at the bit phrase V inflects
I expect you're champing at the bit, so we'll get things going as soon as we can.
15 If you do your bit, you do something that, to a small or limited extent, helps to achieve something.
do your bit phrase V inflects
Marcie always tried to do her bit.
16 You say that one thing is every bit as good, interesting, or important as another to emphasize that the first thing is just as good, interesting, or important as the second.
every bit as phrase PHR adj/adv (emphasis)
My dinner jacket is every bit as good as his.
17 If you say that something is a bit much, you are annoyed because you think someone has behaved in an unreasonable way.
a bit much phrase v-link PHR (feelings)
It's a bit much expecting me to dump your boyfriend for you.
18 You use not a bit when you want to make a strong negative statement.
not a bit phrase
I'm really not a bit surprised..., `Are you disappointed?'<emdash>`Not a bit.'
19 You say not a bit of it to emphasize that something that you might expect to be the case is not the case.
not a bit of it phrase
Did he give up? Not a bit of it!
20 You can use bits and pieces or bits and bobs to refer to a collection of different things.
bits and pieces/bits and bobs phrase
21 If you get the bit between your teeth, or take the bit between your teeth, you become very enthusiastic about a job you have to do.
get the bit between one's teeth/take the bit between one's teeth phrase V inflects
22 If something is smashed or blown to bits, it is broken into a number of pieces. If something falls to bits, it comes apart so that it is in a number of pieces.
to bits phrase PHR after v
She found a pretty yellow jug smashed to bits.
thrilled to bits