biting


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to biting: biting point, biting tongue

What's biting somebody?

  (informal)
something that you say in order to ask why someone is in a bad mood What's biting her? She hasn't said a word all morning.

nail-biting

a nail-biting event or period of time makes you feel very nervous, usually because you are waiting for something important to happen (always before noun) The teams were very evenly matched and played a close game right up to the nail-biting finish.
References in classic literature ?
His parting gibes were listened to in a dead, boding silence, and, with these biting words in his mouth, the triumphant Magua passed unmolested into the forest, followed by his passive captive, and protected by the inviolable laws of Indian hospitality.
There came cruel, cold, and biting winds, and blizzards of snow, all testing relentlessly for failing muscles and impoverished blood.
And when it had got to the worst, and it seemed to me that I could not stand anything more, a fly got in through the bars and settled on my nose, and the bars were stuck and wouldn't work, and I couldn't get the visor up; and I could only shake my head, which was baking hot by this time, and the fly -- well, you know how a fly acts when he has got a certainty -- he only minded the shaking enough to change from nose to lip, and lip to ear, and buzz and buzz all around in there, and keep on lighting and biting, in a way that a person, already so distressed as I was, simply could not stand.
And my money,' she continued; returning his angry glare, and meantime biting a piece of crust, the remnant of her breakfast.
I instantly ran into the room, and found Magdalen on the sofa in violent hysterics, and Frank standing staring at her, with a lowering, angry face, biting his nails.
The officers looked towards the soldiers who looked at the fire; gave no orders; and answered, with shrugs and biting of lips, "It must burn.
It was cold, bleak, biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside, go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them.
Creakle came to where I sat, and told me that if I were famous for biting, he was famous for biting, too.
And then the red faces made their way through the black biting frost to their own homes, feeling themselves free for the rest of the day to eat, drink, and be merry, and using that Christian freedom without diffidence.