bit by bit

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bit 1

1. A small portion, degree, or amount: a bit of lint; a bit of luck.
2. A brief amount of time; a moment: Wait a bit.
a. A short scene or episode in a theatrical performance.
b. A bit part.
4. An entertainment routine given regularly by a performer; an act.
5. Informal
a. A particular kind of action, situation, or behavior: got tired of the macho bit.
b. A matter being considered: What's this bit about inflation?
6. Informal An amount equal to one eighth of a dollar: two bits.
7. Chiefly British A small coin: a threepenny bit.
a bit
To a small degree; somewhat: a bit warm.
bit by bit
Little by little; gradually.
do (one's) bit
To do one's part or contribute one's share.

[Middle English bite, morsel, from Old English bita; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

bit 2

1. The sharp part of a tool, such as the cutting edge of a knife or axe.
2. A pointed and threaded tool for drilling and boring that is secured in a brace, bitstock, or drill press.
3. The part of a key that enters the lock and engages the bolt and tumblers.
4. The tip of the mouthpiece on a pipe or a cigarette or cigar holder.
5. The metal mouthpiece of a bridle, serving to control, curb, and direct an animal.
6. Something that controls, guides, or curbs.
tr.v. bit·ted, bit·ting, bits
1. To place a bit in the mouth of (a horse, for example).
2. To check or control with or as if with a bit.
3. To make or grind a bit on (a key).
have/take the bit in one's teeth
To be uncontrollable; cast off restraint.

[Middle English bite, from Old English, act of biting; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

bit 3

n. Computers
A binary digit, having either the value 0 or 1, used to store or represent data.

bit 4

Past tense and a past participle of bite.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.bit by bit - a little bit at a time; "the research structure has developed piecemeal"
2.bit by bit - in a gradual mannerbit by bit - in a gradual manner; "the snake moved gradually toward its victim"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
تَدريجيّا، شَيْئا فَشَيْئا
kousek po kousku
petit à petitpeu à peupièce à pièce
smám saman
po troche


(bit) noun
1. a small piece. a bit of bread.
2. a piece of any size. a bit of advice.
3. a short time. Wait a bit longer.
4. (computers) the smallest unit of memory.
ˈbitty (informal) adjective
made up of small, unrelated pieces. We had a very bitty conversation; His essay was rather bitty.
bit by bit
gradually. Move the pile of rocks bit by bit.
do one's bit
to take one's share in a task. Each of us will have to do his bit if we are to finish the job soon.
in, to bits
in(to) usually small pieces. The broken mirror lay in bits on the floor; He loves taking his car to bits.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
It's attacking my nerve-centres, eating them up, bit by bit, cell by cell--from the pain."
She had told me, bit by bit, under pressure, a great deal; but a small shifty spot on the wrong side of it all still sometimes brushed my brow like the wing of a bat; and I remember how on this occasion--for the sleeping house and the concentration alike of our danger and our watch seemed to help-- I felt the importance of giving the last jerk to the curtain.
First, I will pierce through the root of your tongue, so that you cannot squeal, then I will cut you to pieces slowly, bit by bit, and in the morning I will tell the people that the spirits did it because you lied.
That was the story I got from him, bit by bit. He grew calmer telling me and trying to make me see the things he had seen.
It was very fetching to make the girl propose in the course of being reunited, and Martin discovered, bit by bit, other decidedly piquant and fetching ruses.
Bit by bit he was obliged to sell his own and his wife's property.
Every word sank like lead on Hetty's spirits; she saw the journey stretch bit by bit before her now.
He not only sold the Collection bit by bit, but sank bit by bit to the basest ways of making money-- even to blackmailing his own family in a disguise.
With what bitterness did he behold his whole erection of glory and of poetry crumble away bit by bit! And to think that these people had been upon the point of instituting a revolt against the bailiff through impatience to hear his work!
You will live long, if you act like the miser who, bit by bit, crumb by crumb, collects and heaps up diamonds and gold.
All I need say, just now, is, that the Baroness Von Koeldwethout somehow or other acquired great control over the Baron Von Koeldwethout, and that, little by little, and bit by bit, and day by day, and year by year, the baron got the worst of some disputed question, or was slyly unhorsed from some old hobby; and that by the time he was a fat hearty fellow of forty-eight or thereabouts, he had no feasting, no revelry, no hunting train, and no hunting--nothing in short that he liked, or used to have; and that, although he was as fierce as a lion, and as bold as brass, he was decidedly snubbed and put down, by his own lady, in his own castle of Grogzwig.
"He was a surprise box," he wandered on, while she proceeded to undress him; and bit by bit she was able to piece together what had happened.