Middle English Dictionary Entry

bīten v.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
Of a weapon: to pierce, penetrate, cut, slash; make a dent, dent; also fig.; ~ upon bord, nailed to the cross, transfixed [quot.: 1390]; -- (a) without or (b) with obj.
1b.
(a) Of a blow: to hit or land; of a ship: to land; (b) of vengeance, an enemy, etc: to strike; (c) to befall.
2.
(a) To bite or sting (sb.); injure by biting, jabbing, or stinging; lacerate; (b) ~ wounde, to inflict a wound by biting; ~ dethes bite, inflict a deadly bite; (c) fig. to hurt or harm (sb.).
3.
(a) To gnaw or bite; (b) to seize or hold (with teeth or mouth); (c) to bite into (sth., as from anger, grief, vexation); biten lippes, bite (one's) lips.
4.
To cut (sth.) with the teeth, bite; biten awei, ~ of, bite off; ~ in (on) twinne, ~ in (on) sonder, bite in two; fig.?cut short (a note).
5.
(a) To take a bite (of food); partake of food, eat; of animals: feed (on herbs); -- often with of or on phrase; (b) to eat (sth.); eat up, devour; ~ bite, take a bite, eat; also fig.; (c) to drink (sth.), take (a drink).
6.
(a) To sting, irritate, smart; (b) to corrode, be corrosive; (c) of cold weather: to strike.
7.
To stimulate, arouse; excite, irritate.
8.
(a) Of pain, grief, remorse, etc.: to smart, hurt, vex; (b) of love or desire: to make ardent, to burn.
9.
10.
Sayings: biten the gres, bite the dust, die; ~ the bridel, champ the bit, be restive.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1225 Wor.Bod.Gloss.(Hat 115:Pope)656/331 : Toslitenan: ibitene.
  • Note: Ppl. as adj. for sense 2.(a)--per MP
  • a1500 MSerm.Mol.(Adv 19.3.1)83 : The chylde was sent to Syble the Sage, prayng that Sibell the Sage schuld gyve to it the same blessyng that God gave hur, becase sche bote hym be the hele.
  • Note: NF if this word
    Note: Perh. punning allusion to boten v.(1)--per MM