The Past Tense of Bite: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

If you have ever been curious about the correct past tense of bite was, this article will clear that up plus give you a look into the history of the word, the definition, and everything else you could want to learn about the word.

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What is the Definition of the Word Bite?

The word bite is defined as:

Transitive verb:

  • to seize especially with teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound
    • was bitten by a dog
  • to wound, pierce, or sting especially with a fang or a proboscis
    • getting bitten by mosquitoes
    • a snake bit his leg
  • to cut or pierce with or as if with an edged weapon
    • bit by his sword
  • to cause sharp pain or stinging discomfort to
    • the sleet biting our faces
  • to take hold of
    • help the pliers bite the part
  • archaic: to take in: cheat

Intransitive verb

  • to bite or have the habit of biting something
    • This cat bites.
  • of a weapon or tool: to cut, pierce, or take hold
    • bites down on the part
    • The anchor bites into the ocean floor.
  • to cause irritation or smarting
    • Her criticisms really bite.
  • corrode
  • of fish : to take a bait
    • The fish aren’t biting today.
  • to respond so as to be caught (as by a trick)
  • to accept a suggestion or an offer
    • offered them a deal but they wouldn’t bite
  • to take or maintain a firm hold
    • The anchor didn’t bite well.
  • to produce a negative effect
    • the recession began to bite
  • chiefly US slang, sometimes vulgar : to be objectionable or extremely bad in quality: stink, stunk
    • This song bites.
  • English language slang: to imitate or copy (someone or something) especially without permission
  • to withhold a statement
    • He has a bitten tongue.

How do You Conjugate Bite?

Here are some of the conjugations of the word bite:

Simple Present/ Present Tense/ Present ParticipleSimple Past Tense/ Past Participle of biteFuture Perfect Tense
I biteBit Am bitting
You biteBitAre bitting
He, she, it bitesBitIs bitting
We biteBitAre bitting
They biteBitAre bitting

The History and Origin of the Word

The word bite has been used as a verb since before the 12th century. It was used as a transitive verb by the definition “to seize especially with teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound”

The word bite can be traced back first to Middle English grammar – biten, then back to Old English verb conjugation- bitan, and eventually all the way back to Latin findere which meant to split, cleave, divide. 

What are the Three Forms of Bite?

These are the three verb forms of bite: 

  1. Base form of the word bite- Bite
  2. Past tense of the verb bite – Bit
  3. Past Perfect Participle of the word bite- Bitten

Synonyms for Bite

  • Acerbic – sharply or bitingly critical, sarcastic, or ironic in temper, mood or tone
  • Nibble – a small piece or quantity of food
  • Taste – the property of a substance that can be identified by the sense of taste, to come to a knowledge of something by living through it
  • Acidity – the quality, state, or degree of being acid, or excessively acid 

Such Instances of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word bite, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition.