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Bite, vb. (partic. “bit:” H4A II, 1, 19. Rom. I, 1, 157. Lr. I, 4, 236. IV, 7, 37. “bitten:” H8 V, 4, 64, and in fly-bitten and weather-bitten, q. v. Of the impf. no instance).
1) to seize or crush with the teeth; a) absolutely: “she hath no teeth to b.” Gentl. III, 1, 349. “this fish will b.” Ado II, 3, 114. I, 3, 37. R2 I, 3, 303. H5 V, 1, 46. H6B V, 1, 152. H6C V, 6, 77. R3 I, 3, 290. Lr. III, 6, 70. Ant. V, 2, 247.
b) trans.: “he stamps and --s the poor flies,” Ven. 316. Tp. II, 2, 10. III, 2, 38. Ado III, 2, 80. H4A II, 1, 19. Troil V, 7, 19. Lr. III, 6, 18. IV, 7, 37. Ant. II, 5, 80. “whereof the ewe not --s,” Tp. V, 38. “to b. off,” Lr. I, 4, 236. “atwain,” II, 2, 80. Bit and bitten == injured by biting, gnawn: “the bud bit with an envious worm,” Rom. I, 1, 157. “bitten apples,” H8 V, 4, 64. -- To b. one's tongue == to b. off one's tongue: “shall we b. our tongues,” Tit. III, 1, 131; and then == to be silent: “so York must sit and fret and b. his tongue,” H6B I, 1, 230. “view this face, and b. thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice,” H6C I, 4, 47. -- To b. the lip, a sign of commotion: “--s his lip with a politic regard,” Troil. III, 3, 254. “he --s his lip and starts,” H8 III, 2, 113. Particularly of anger: “thou canst not frown, nor b. the lip, as angry wenches will,” Shr. II, 250. R3 IV, 2, 27 (Ff. gnaws). Cor. V, 1, 48. -- “I will b. my thumb at them,” Rom. I, 1, 48 -- 58 (i. e. "defy them by putting the thumb-nail into the mouth, and with a jerk from the upper teeth make it to knack." Cotgrave). -- To b. one by the ear, an expression of endearment: Rom. II, 4, 81. -- To b. the law by the nose == to mock the law: Meas. III, 1, 109.
2) figuratively used, a) absol.; of the weather: “the winter's wind, when it --s and blows upon my body,” As II, 1, 8. II, 7, 185. H6B III, 2, 337. H6C IV, 8, 61. Hml. I, 4, 1. of a cutting sword: “I have a sword and it shall b.” Wiv. II, 1, 136. R2 I, 3, 303. Lr. V, 3, 276. Biting == bitter: “a --ing jest,” R3 II, 4, 30. == sharp, severe: “most --ing laws,” Meas. I, 3, 19. “--ing statutes,” H6B IV, 7, 19. == grieving, mortifying: “a --ing affliction,” Wiv. V, 5, 178. “a --ing error,” Ado IV, 1, 172. to b. at sth. == to inveigh against sth.: Troil. II, 2, 33 (quibble).
b) trans., == to nip: “a frost that --s the firstborn infants of the spring,” LLL I, 1, 101. Shr. V, 2, 139. H4B I, 3, 41. == to cut: “my dagger muzzled, lest it should b. its master,” Wint. I, 2, 157. Troil. V, 2, 171. == to grieve, to pain: “their guilt now 'gins to b. the spirits,” Tp. III, 3, 106. R2 I, 3, 292. == to hurt, to injure: “thou camest to b. the world,” H6C V, 6, 54. “exceeding mad, in love too, but he would b. none,” H8 I, 4, 29. “dare b. the best,” V, 3, 45 (the image in most of the last passages being taken from a dog). cf. Fly-bitten.
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