Definition of BITING

BITING Adjective and Verb

Biting functions primarily as an adjective and a verb, describing the action or sensation of sharply pressing or cutting into something, often with teeth or a sharp object. It conveys a sense of sharpness, intensity, or severity, whether in physical actions, sensations, or figurative language.

BITING as an adjective

Adjective – Sharp or Intense: As an adjective, biting describes something that is sharp, severe, or incisive in nature, causing a strong or painful sensation. It can refer to biting cold weather, a biting critique, or a biting wit, all of which evoke a sense of sharpness, intensity, or severity.

Adjective – Physical Actions: Biting as an adjective can also describe physical actions involving the use of teeth or a sharp object to grip, cut, or tear into something. This can include biting insects, such as mosquitoes or ants, as well as animals that bite as a means of defense or predation.

BITING as a verb

Verb – Action of Biting: As a verb, biting refers to the act of applying pressure with teeth or a sharp object to break through or penetrate something. It can involve biting into food, biting one’s lip in concentration or anxiety, or biting down on an object to test its hardness or texture.

Verb – Figurative Language: In a figurative sense, biting as a verb can also describe the use of sharp or cutting language to criticize, mock, or express contempt. It may involve delivering a biting remark, a biting retort, or a biting satire, all of which convey a sense of sharpness or severity in communication.

In conclusion, biting encompasses both the adjective and verb forms, describing sharpness, intensity, or severity in physical actions, sensations, or figurative language. Whether referring to physical biting actions, biting cold weather, or biting critiques, the term conveys a sense of sharpness and severity that leaves a lasting impression on those who experience or encounter it.

Examples of BITING in a sentence

BITING as an adjective in a sentence

  • The dog’s biting bark startled the neighbors, signaling a potential threat.
  • Her biting sarcasm often left others feeling wounded and defensive.
  • The comedian’s biting wit was a hit with audiences, but not everyone appreciated his humor.
  • The novel contained biting social commentary, exposing the harsh realities of modern society.
  • The film received critical acclaim for its biting portrayal of political corruption and greed.
  • Despite his friendly demeanor, his biting criticism of others revealed a darker side to his personality.
  • The editorial offered a biting critique of the government’s handling of the crisis, calling for accountability and reform.
  • The actress’s performance was praised for its biting intensity, capturing the raw emotions of the character.

BITING as an verb in a sentence

  • The mosquito kept biting me, leaving itchy welts all over my skin.
  • He couldn’t concentrate on his work with the flies constantly biting at his ankles.
  • The bitter cold was biting at their exposed skin as they trudged through the snow.
  • The boxer’s opponent was relentless, biting at his defenses with a flurry of punches.
  • The snake struck, biting its prey with deadly accuracy before retreating into the undergrowth.
  • The gusty wind was biting at their faces as they walked along the exposed coastline.
  • The fisherman felt a sharp pain as the hook biting into his thumb.
  • The child was scolded for biting his classmates on the playground, a behavior that needed to be addressed immediately.

Etymology of BITING

The word “biting” has its etymology rooted in Old English and shares connections with other Germanic languages. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Old English Origin: The term “biting” originates from Old English, where it was spelled as “bītan” or “bīetan.” This Old English word meant “to bite” or “to sting” and was used to describe the action of an animal or person biting something.
  • Germanic Roots: “Biting” is derived from the Proto-Germanic verb “*beutan,” which also meant “to bite.” This root is shared with other Germanic languages, such as Old High German “biotan” and Old Norse “bíta.”
  • Semantic Evolution: Over time, the term “biting” extended its meaning beyond the physical act of biting to describe sensations, qualities, or behaviors that resemble or evoke the sensation of being bitten. For example, a “biting wind” is one that feels as sharp and penetrating as a bite.
  • Modern Usage: In contemporary English, “biting” is commonly used in figurative contexts to describe things that are sharp, harsh, cutting, or incisive. It can refer to biting wit or sarcasm, biting cold weather, or biting criticism.

Overall, the etymology of “biting” illustrates its journey from Old English through Proto-Germanic roots, retaining its fundamental meaning of biting while also acquiring broader metaphorical and figurative associations over time.


  • Sharp
  • Cutting
  • Caustic
  • Acerbic
  • Sarcastic
  • Severe
  • Harsh
  • Mordant


  • Mild
  • Gentle
  • Soft
  • Kind
  • Pleasant
  • Subtle
  • Mellow
  • Amiable


  • Cutting
  • Acrid
  • Critical
  • Stinging
  • Piercing
  • Severe
  • Sardonic
  • Satirical

🌐 🇬🇧 BITING in other languages

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