bit

Let me give you a bit of advice: Use bit when you're talking about a small amount.

Bit is a small but useful word. Like drill bits, which fit on the end of a drill to change its function, the word bit has several uses. Usually, it means a little piece of something, even time. If you ask me when I'm arriving, I might say, "In a little bit." A bit can also be a short theatrical entertainment, the metal piece a horse bites on, or digital information that's 1/8 the size of a byte.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: bit

1
n
a small piece or quantity of something
2
n
piece of metal held in horse's mouth by reins and used to control the horse while riding
3
n
the part of a key that enters a lock and lifts the tumblers
4
n
a unit of measurement of information (from binary + digit); the amount of information in a system having two equiprobable states
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: bit
1

n a small piece or quantity of something

“a bit of paper”
“a bit of lint”
“I gave him a bit of my mind”
Synonyms:
spot
Type of:
small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude

n a small fragment

Synonyms:
snatch
Type of:
fragment
an incomplete piece

n a small fragment of something broken off from the whole

“a bit of rock caught him in the eye”
Synonyms:
chip, flake, fleck, scrap
Types:
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matchwood
fragments of wood
exfoliation, scale, scurf
a thin flake of dead epidermis shed from the surface of the skin
scurf
(botany) a covering that resembles scales or bran that covers some plant parts
sliver, splinter
a small thin sharp bit or wood or glass or metal
dander
small scales from animal skins or hair or bird feathers that can cause allergic reactions in some people
dandruff
loose scales shed from the scalp
Type of:
fragment
a piece broken off or cut off of something else

n a small amount of solid food; a mouthful

“all they had left was a bit of bread”
Synonyms:
bite, morsel
Types:
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chaw, chew, cud, plug, quid, wad
a wad of something chewable as tobacco
crumb
small piece of e.g. bread or cake
sop, sops
piece of solid food for dipping in a liquid
breadcrumb
crumb of bread; used especially for coating or thickening
cracker crumbs
crumbs of crackers used especially for coating or thickening
Type of:
mouthful, taste
a small amount eaten or drunk

n an indefinitely short time

“in just a bit
Synonyms:
minute, mo, moment, second
Types:
New York minute, blink of an eye, flash, heartbeat, instant, jiffy, split second, trice, twinkling, wink
a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
Type of:
time
an indefinite period (usually marked by specific attributes or activities)

n an instance of some kind

“he had a bit of good luck”
Synonyms:
piece
Type of:
case, example, instance
an occurrence of something

n a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program

Synonyms:
act, number, routine, turn
Types:
show-stopper, showstopper, stopper
an act so striking or impressive that the show must be delayed until the audience quiets down
Type of:
performance, public presentation
a dramatic or musical entertainment
2

n piece of metal held in horse's mouth by reins and used to control the horse while riding

“the horse was not accustomed to a bit
Types:
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bar bit
a bit for horses that is a solid bar of metal
bridoon
a bit resembling a snaffle bit; used with a separate curb
curb, curb bit
a horse's bit with an attached chain or strap to check the horse
Pelham
a bit with a bar mouthpiece that is designed to combine a curb and snaffle
snaffle, snaffle bit
a simple jointed bit for a horse; without a curb
Type of:
saddlery, stable gear, tack
gear for a horse
3

n the part of a key that enters a lock and lifts the tumblers

Type of:
part, portion
something less than the whole of a human artifact

n the cutting part of a drill; usually pointed and threaded and is replaceable in a brace or bitstock or drill press

“he looked around for the right size bit
Types:
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bur, burr
small bit used in dentistry or surgery
center bit, centre bit
a bit with a sharp center point for guidance and two side cutters
chamfer bit
a bit that is used for beveling
counterbore, countersink, countersink bit
a bit for enlarging the upper part of a hole
drill bit, drilling bit
a bit used in drilling for oil
expansion bit, expansive bit
a bit with a cutting blade that can be adjusted to different sizes
pilot bit
a small bit that drills a first hole to guide a larger drill
spade bit
a thin bit with a center point and cutting edges on either side
twist bit, twist drill
a bit or drill having deep helical grooves
core bit
a hollow drilling bit that is the cutting part of a core drill; allows core samples to be taken
blade bit, fishtail bit
a drilling bit with cutting edges usually hardened against wear
rock bit, roller bit
a drill bit that has hardened rotating rollers
Type of:
cutting implement
a tool used for cutting or slicing
4

n a unit of measurement of information (from binary + digit); the amount of information in a system having two equiprobable states

“there are 8 bits in a byte”
Types:
check bit, parity, parity bit
(computer science) a bit that is used in an error detection procedure in which a 0 or 1 is added to each group of bits so that it will have either an odd number of 1's or an even number of 1's; e.g., if the parity is odd then any group of bits that arrives with an even number of 1's must contain an error
Type of:
unit, unit of measurement
any division of quantity accepted as a standard of measurement or exchange
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