Dictionary: BITCH – BIT'TER-NESS

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BITCH, n. [Sax. bicca, bicce, bice; Dan. bikke. Qu. Ger. betze; Basque, potzoa. This word probably signifies a female, for the French biche is a hind.]

  1. The female of the canine kind, as of the dog, wolf and fox.
  2. A name of reproach for a woman. – Pope. Arbuthnot.

BITE, n.

  1. The seizure of any thing by the teeth of an animal, as the bite of a dog; or with the mouth, as of a fish.
  2. The wound made by the teeth.
  3. A morsel; as much as is taken at once by biting; a mouthful.
  4. A cheat; a trick; a fraud. [A low word.]
  5. A sharper; one who cheats.

BITE, v.t. [pret. bit; pp. bit, bitten. Sax. bitan; Sw. bita; Dan. bider; Ger. beissen, to bite.]

  1. To break or crush with the teeth, as in eating; to pierce with the teeth, as a serpent; to seize with the teeth, as a dog.
  2. To pinch or pain, as with cold; as, a biting north wind; the frost bites.
  3. To reproach with sarcasm; to treat with severity by words or writing; as, one poet praises, another bites.
  4. To pierce, cut, or wound; as, a biting falchion. – Shak.
  5. To make to smart; as, acids bite the mouth.
  6. To cheat; to trick. The rogue was bit. – Pope. [Not elegant, but common.]
  7. To enter the ground and hold fast, as the bill and palm of an anchor. – Mar. Dict.
  8. To injure by angry contention. If ye bite and devour one another. – Gal. v.

BIT'ER, n.

  1. One who bites; that which bites; a fish apt to take bait.
  2. One who cheats or defrauds.

BI-TERN'ATE, a. [L. bis and ternus, three.]

In botany, doubly ternate, as when a petiole has three ternate leaflets. – Martyn.


Sharp; severe; sarcastic.


Act of biting.

BIT'ING, ppr.

Seizing, wounding, or crushing with the teeth; pinching, paining, causing to smart with cold; reproaching with severity, or treating sarcastically; cheating.

BIT'ING-LY, adv.

In a sarcastic or jeering manner.


Not having a bit or bridle. – Fanshaw.

BIT'MOUTH, n. [bit arid mouth.]

The bit, or that part of a bridle which is put in a horse's mouth. – Bailey. Ash. Encyc.

BITT, v.t.

To put round the bitts; as, to bitt the cable, in order to fasten it or to slacken it out gradually, which is called veering away. – Mar. Dict.

BIT'TA-CLE, n. [Qu. Fr. boite d'aiguille, needle-box.]

The box for the compasses and lights on board a ship. [See Binnacle.]

BIT'TED, pp.

Having the bit put in the mouth.

BIT'TEN, pp. [of bite. bit'tn.]

Seized or wounded by the teeth; cheated.

BIT'TER, a. [Sax. biter; Sw. D. Ger. and Dan. bitter, from bite.]

  1. Sharp, or biting to the taste; acrid: like wormwood.
  2. Sharp; cruel; severe; as, bitter enmity. – Heb. i.
  3. Sharp, as words; reproachful; sarcastic.
  4. Sharp to the feeling; piercing; painful; that makes to smart; as, a bitter cold day, or a bitter blast.
  5. Painful to the mind; calamitous; poignant; as, a bitter fate.
  6. Afflicted; distressed. The Egyptians made their lives bitter. – Ex. i.
  7. Hurtful; very sinful. It is an evil and bitter thing. – Jer. ii.
  8. Mournful; distressing; expressive of misery; as, a bitter complaint or lamentation. – Job xxiii. Jer. vi. xxxi.

BIT'TER, n.1

A substance that is bitter. [See Bitters.]

BIT'TER, n.2 [See Bitts.]

In marine language, a turn of the cable which is round the bitts. Bitter-end, that part of a cable which is abaft the bins, and therefore within board, when the ship rides at anchor. – Mar. Dict.

BIT'TER-GOURD, n. [bitter and gourd.]

A plant, a species of Cucumis, called Colocynthis, Colocynth, Coloquintada. The fruit is of the gourd kind, having a shell inclosing a bitter pulp, which is a very drastic purgative. It is brought from the Levant, and is the bitter apple of the shops. – Encyc.


Somewhat bitter; bitter in a moderate degree. – Goldsmith.


The quality of being moderately bitter. – Encyc.

BIT'TER-LY, adv.

  1. With a bitter taste.
  2. In a severe manner; in a manner expressing poignant grief; as, to weep bitterly.
  3. In a manner severely reproachful; sharply; severely; angrily; as, to censure bitterly.

BIT'TERN, n. [from bitter.]

In salt works, the brine remaining after the salt is concreted. This being laded off, and the salt taken out of the pan, is returned, and being again boiled, yields more salt. It is used in the preparation of Epsom salt, the sulphate of magnesia, and of Glauber's salt, the sulphate of soda. – Johnson. Encyc.

BIT'TERN, n. [D. butoor; Fr. butor; Corn. klabitter.]

A fowl of the Grallic order, the Ardea stellaris, a native of Europe. This fowl has long legs and neck, and stalks among reeds and sedge, feeding upon fish. It makes a singular noise, called by Dryden bumping, and by Goldsmith booming. – Encyc.

BIT'TER-NESS, n. [from bitter.]

  1. A bitter taste; or rather a quality in things which excites a biting disagreeable sensation in the tongue.
  2. In a figurative sense, extreme enmity, grudge, hatred; or rather an excessive degree or implacableness of passions and emotions; as, the bitterness of anger. – Eph. iv.
  3. Sharpness; severity of temper.
  4. Keeness of reproach; piquancy; biting sarcasm.
  5. Keen sorrow; painful affliction; vexation; deep distress of mind. Hannah was in bitterness of soul. – 1 Sam. i. Job vii. In the gall of bitterness, in a state of extreme impiety or enmity to God. – Acts viii. Root of bitterness, a dangerous error, or schism, tending to draw persons to apostasy. – Heb. xii.