A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Bit (noun 2)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 247

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 247

Bit. n.s. [from bite.]

  1. As much meat as is put into the mouth at once.

    How many prodigal bits have slaves and peasants
    This night englutted?
    Shakesp. Timon of Athens.

    Follow your function, go and batten on cold bits. Shakesp.

    The mice found it troublesome to be still climbing the oak for every bit they put in their bellies. L'Estrange.

    By this the boiling kettle had prepar'd,
    And to the table sent the smoaking lard,
    A sav'ry bit, that serv'd to relish wine.
    Dryden's Fables.

    John was the darling; he had all the good bits, was crammed with good pullet, chicken, and capon. Arbuthnot's J. Bull.

  2. A small piece of any thing.

    Then clap four slices of pilaster on't,
    That, lac'd with bits of rustick, makes a front.

    He bought at thousands, what with better wit
    You purchase as you want, and bit by bit.
    Pope's Epistles.

    His majesty has power to grant a patent for stamping round bits of copper, to every subject he hath. Swift.

  3. A Spanish West Indian silver coin, valued at sevenpence halfpenny.

  4. A bit the better or worse. In the smallest degree.

    There are few that know all the tricks of these lawyers; for aught I can see, your case is not a bit clearer than it was seven years ago. Arbuthnot's History of J. Bull.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Shakespeare's Coriolanus (80) · Dryden, John (788) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Bit (noun 2)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 15, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/bit-noun-2/.

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