a small piece or quantity of anything:
a bit of string.
a short time:
Wait a bit.
Informal. an amount equivalent to 12½ U.S. cents (used only in even multiples):
two bits; six bits.
an act, performance, or routine:
She’s doing the Camille bit, pretending to be near collapse.
a stereotypic or habitual set of behaviors, attitudes, or styles associated with an individual, role, situation, etc.:
the whole Wall Street bit.
Also called bit part. a very small role, as in a play or motion picture, containing few or no lines.
Compare walk-on (def 1).
any small coin:
a threepenny bit.
a Spanish or Mexican silver real worth 12½ cents, formerly current in parts of the U.S.
a bit, rather or somewhat; a little:
a bit sleepy.
a bit much, somewhat overdone or beyond tolerability.
bit by bit, by degrees; gradually:
Having saved money bit by bit, they now had enough to buy the land.
do one’s bit, to contribute one’s share to an effort:
They all did their bit during the war.
every bit, quite; just:
every bit as good.
quite a bit, a fairly large amount:
There’s quite a bit of snow on the ground.
a small piece, portion, or quantity
a short time or distance
(US & Canadian, informal) the value of an eighth of a dollar: spoken of only in units of two: two bits
any small coin
short for bit part
(informal) way of behaving, esp one intended to create a particular impression: she’s doing the prima donna bit
a bit, rather; somewhat: a bit dreary
a bit of

rather: a bit of a dope
a considerable amount: that must take quite a bit of courage

(Brit, slang) a bit of all right, a bit of crumpet, a bit of stuff, a bit of tail, a sexually attractive woman
bit by bit, gradually
(informal) bit on the side, an extramarital affair
do one’s bit, to make one’s expected contribution
(foll by as) every bit, to the same degree: she was every bit as clever as her brother
not a bit, not a bit of it, not in the slightest; not at all
to bits, completely apart: to fall to bits
a metal mouthpiece, for controlling a horse on a bridle
anything that restrains or curbs
take the bit in one’s teeth, take the bit between one’s teeth, have the bit in one’s teeth, have the bit between one’s teeth

to undertake a task with determination
to rebel against control

a cutting or drilling tool, part, or head in a brace, drill, etc
the blade of a woodworking plane
the part of a pair of pincers designed to grasp an object
the copper end of a soldering iron
the part of a key that engages the levers of a lock
verb (transitive) bits, bitting, bitted
to put a bit in the mouth of (a horse)
to restrain; curb
the past tense and (archaic) past participle of bite
noun (maths, computing)
a single digit of binary notation, represented either by 0 or by 1
the smallest unit of information, indicating the presence or absence of a single feature
a unit of capacity of a computer, consisting of an element of its physical structure capable of being in either of two states, such as a switch with on and off positions, or a microscopic magnet capable of alignment in two directions
The smallest unit of computer memory. A bit holds one of two possible values, either of the binary digits 0 or 1. The term comes from the phrase binary digit. See Note at byte.

Note: The information in a digital computer is stored in the form of bits.

A prison sentence: Ferrati, whose ”bit” was three to seven years (1860+ Underworld)
(also bit part) A small part in a play or other show (1900s+ Theater)
A display of pretended feeling or an outright imitation; act, shtick: So he does his hurt-puppy-dog bit/ You should see my Jimmy Cagney bit (fr theater)
A person’s particular set of attitudes, reactions, behavior patterns, etc; style; lifestyle; thing: Zen never was my real bit (1950s+ Beat & cool talk)

binary digit
built in test

Also, little by little. Gradually, by small degrees, slowly. For example, The squirrels dug up the lawn bit by bit, till we had almost no grass, or Little by little he began to understand what John was getting at. The first term was first recorded in 1849, although bit in the sense of “small amount” is much older; the variant dates from the 1400s.
In addition to the idiom beginning with


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