Dictionary: BISH'OP-RIC – BIT

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BISH'OP-RIC, n. [bishop and ric, jurisdiction.]

  1. A diocese; the district over which the jurisdiction of a bishop extends. In England are twenty-four bishoprics, besides that of Sodor and Man; in Ireland, eighteen.
  2. The charge of instructing and governing in spiritual concerns; office. – Acts i. 20.

BISH'OPS-WEED, n. [bishop and weed.]

A genus of plants with the generic name Ammi.


A plant.

BISK, n. [Fr. bisque.]

Soup or broth, made by boiling several sorts of flesh together. – King.


A biscuit. This orthography is adopted by many respectable writers.

BIS'MUTH, n. [s as z. G. wissmuth.]

A metal of a yellowish or reddish white color, and a lamellar texture. It is somewhat harder than lead, and scarcely, if at all, malleable, being so brittle as to break easily under the hammer, and it is reducible to powder. Its internal face or fracture exhibits large shining plates, variously disposed. It melts at 476° Fahr. and may be fused in the flame of a candle. It is often found in a native state, crystalized in rhombs or octahedrons, or in the form of dendrites, or thin lamins investing the ores of other metals, particularly cobalt. – Nicholson. Encyc.


Consisting of bismuth, or containing it. – Cleaveland.


Pertaining to bismuth.


A rare mineral, composed of bismuth and sulphur.


Bismuthic lusine ore.

BI'SON, n. [L.]

A quadruped of the bovine genus, usually but improperly called the buffalo. The proper buffalo is a distinct species, peculiar to the warmer climates of the Eastern Continent. The bison is a wild animal, with short, black, rounded horns, with a great interval between their bases. On the shoulders is a large hunch, consisting of a fleshy substance. The head and hunch are covered with a long undulated fleece, of a rust-color, divided into locks. In winter the whole body is covered in this manner; but in summer, the hind part of the body is naked, and wrinkled. The tail is about a foot long, naked, except a tuft of hairs at the end. The fore parts of the body are very thick and strong; the hind parts are slender and weak. These animals inhabit the interior parts of North America, and some of the mountainous parts of Europe and Asia. – Pennant. Pennant alledges that the bison of America is the same species of animal as the bison and aurochs of Europe, the bonasus of Aristotle, the urus of Cesar, the bos ferus or wild ox of Strabo, the bison of Pliny, and the biston of Oppian. Cuvier has not separated the bison of America from that of Europe. He considers their identity as doubtful. The former has the legs and tail shorter, and the hairs of its head and neck longer than in the latter. – Regne Anim.


Pertaining to the leap year.

BIS-SEX'TILE, n. [L. bissextilis, leap year, from bissextus, (bis and sextus.) the sixth of the calends of March, or twenty-fourth day of February, which was reckoned twice every fourth year, by the intercalation of a day. – Ainsworth.]

Leap year; every fourth year, in which a day is added to the month of February, on account of the excess of 6 hours, which the civil year contains, above 365 day. This excess is 11 minutes 3 seconds too much; that is, it exceeds the real year, or annual revolution of the earth. Hence at the end of every century, divisible by 4, it is necessary to retain the bissextile day, and to suppress it at the end of those centuries which are not divisible by 4. – Encyc.

BIS'SON, a. [Sax. bisen.]

Blind. [Not used.] – Shak.

BIS'TER, n. [Fr. bistre, from bis, brown.]

Among painters, the burnt oil extracted from the soot of wood; a brown pigment. To prepare it, soot [that of beach is the best] is put into water, in the proportion of two pounds to a gallon, and boiled half an hour; after standing to settle, and while hot, the clearer part of the fluid must be poured off from the sediment, and evaporated to dryness; the remainder is bister. – Encyc.


Having two stipules.

BIS'TORT, n. [L. bistorta, bis and tortus, twisted.]

A plant, a species of Polygonum, or many-knotted or angled. In popular language, it is called snake-weed.

BIS'TOU-RY, n. [bis'tury; Fr. bistouri, from Pistoia, a city.]

A surgical instrument for making incisions. It is either straight and fixed in a handle like a knife, or its blade turns like a lancet, or it is crooked, with the sharp edge on the inside. – Encyc.


Two furrowed.

BI-SULC'OUS, a. [L. bisulcus, of bis and sulcus, a furrow.]

Cloven-footed, as swine or oxen. – Brown.

BI-SUL'PHU-RET, n. [L. bini and sulphuret.]

In chimistry, a sulphuret with a double proportion of sulphur. An incorrect term for deutero-sulphutet.

BIT, n.1 [Sax. bitol, gebæte, gebætel, a bit; bætan, to bit or curb.]

The iron part of a bridle which is inserted in the mouth of a horse, and its appendages, to which the reins are fastened. It includes the bit mouth, the branches, the curb, the sevel holes, the tranchefil and cross chains. Bits are of various kinds, as the musrole, snaffle, or watering bit; the canon mouth, jointed in the middle; the canon or fast mouth, all of a piece, kneed in the middle; the scatch-mouth; the masticador, or slavering bit, &c. – Johnson. Encyc.

BIT, n.2 [Sax. bita, a bite or mouthful; bitan, to bite; D. bit; G. biss.]

  1. A small piece; a mouthful, or morsel; a bite.
  2. A small piece of any substance.
  3. A small coin of the West Indies, a half pistareen, about ten cents, or five pence sterling.
  4. The point of an auger, or other borer; the bite.
  5. The cutting part of a carpenter's plane. This word is used, like jot and whit, to express the smallest degree; as, he is not a bit wiser or better.

BIT, v. [pret. and pp. of Bite.]

Seized or wounded by the teeth.

BIT, v.t.

To put a bridle upon a horse; to put the bit in the mouth.