bite the bullet


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

bite

 (bīt)
v. bit (bĭt), bit·ten (bĭt′n) or bit, bit·ing, bites
v.tr.
1. To cut, grip, or tear with or as if with the teeth.
2.
a. To pierce the skin of with the teeth, fangs, or mouthparts.
b. To sting with a stinger.
3. To cut into with or as if with a sharp instrument: The axe bit the log deeply.
4. To grip, grab, or seize: bald treads that couldn't bite the icy road; bitten by a sudden desire to travel.
5. To eat into; corrode.
6. To cause to sting or be painful: cold that bites the skin; a conscience bitten by remorse.
v.intr.
1. To grip, cut into, or injure something with or as if with the teeth.
2. To have a stinging effect.
3. To have a sharp taste.
4. To take or swallow bait.
5. To be taken in by a ploy or deception: tried to sell the Brooklyn Bridge, but no one bit.
6. Vulgar Slang To be highly disagreeable or annoying.
n.
1. The act of biting.
2. A skin wound or puncture produced by an animal's teeth or mouthparts: the bite of an insect.
3.
a. A stinging or smarting sensation.
b. An incisive, penetrating quality: the bite of satire.
4. An amount removed by or as if by an act of biting: Rezoning took a bite out of the town's residential area.
5. An excerpt or fragment taken from something larger, such as a film.
6.
a. An amount of food taken into the mouth at one time; a mouthful.
b. Informal A light meal or snack.
7. The act or an instance of taking bait: fished all day without a bite; an ad that got a few bites but no final sales.
8.
a. A secure grip or hold applied by a tool or machine upon a working surface.
b. The part of a tool or machine that presses against and maintains a firm hold on a working surface.
9. Dentistry The angle at which the upper and lower teeth meet; occlusion.
10. The corrosive action of acid upon an etcher's metal plate.
11. Slang An amount of money appropriated or withheld: trying to avoid the tax bite.
Idioms:
bite off more than (one) can chew
To decide or agree to do more than one can finally accomplish.
bite (someone's) head off
To respond to a comment in an angry or reproachful way.
bite the bullet Slang
To face a painful situation bravely and stoically.
bite the dust Slang
1. To fall dead, especially in combat.
2. To be defeated.
3. To come to an end.
bite the hand that feeds (one)
To repay generosity or kindness with ingratitude and injury.

[Middle English biten, from Old English bītan; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

bit′a·ble, bite′a·ble adj.
bit′er n.

bite the bullet

To face up to something unpleasant with resolution; from the practice of surgeons amputating the limb of a wounded soldier without anesthetic giving the patient a bullet to bite on to combat the pain.
Translations
in den sauren Apfel beißenüber den eigenen Schatten springen
References in periodicals archive ?
"To me the Welsh Rugby Union should just bite the bullet.
'I now urge [the] government to bite the bullet for the sake of the welfare of the majority of the Filipinos,' he added.
He said: "Sooner or later we're going to have to bite the bullet on this and provide a site ourselves.
"If the civilian government in Islamabad would bite the bullet and make the political decision to open the ground lines of communication, that would deflect some of the negativity right now," the Daily Times quoted the official, as saying.
"The players are anxious to play and we'll have to bite the bullet if again the workload these extra matches bring about affects us in the Premier League."
Should they bite the bullet and lock in at a higher rate or were there other opportunities out there?
So when you're faced with the challenge of analyzing database information, you probably reluctantly bite the bullet and go through the tortuous steps of converting and importing it into Excel.
Congress needs to bite the bullet and approve public financing of campaigns.
Now we have signed up for the Olympics we have to bite the bullet and get on with the job.
It was time to bite the bullet and, it was time for contractors like Terry Laible, owner of Terry Laible Excavating, Washburn, Ill.
It may be that delegates to our National Assembly will take a step back from the threshold and vote to defer the recommendation for more study, as did the Anglican Church of Canada last year, or we may bite the bullet in its acceptance or defeat, and then face the consequences.