bite back

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bite back

1. To stop oneself from saying something that is potentially inappropriate, hurtful, or offensive. I had to bite back a snarky comment as my sister gushed about her new boyfriend.
2. To retaliate against a verbal attack. I wouldn't talk badly about Tiffany, if I were you—she bites back. I mean, you heard the vicious rumor she started about the girl who stole her boyfriend!
3. To retaliate by biting, as by an animal. The dog lunged at the cat, and the cat bit back.
See also: back, bite

bite back

 (at someone or something)
1. Lit. to defend an attack by biting at someone or something. (Usually an animal.) I threatened the dog and the dog bit back.
2. Fig. to fight back at someone; to return someone's anger or attack; to speak back to someone with anger. She is usually tolerant, but she will bite back if pressed. Yes, she will bite back.
See also: back, bite
References in periodicals archive ?
The Give A Bit Back team and supporters in Penrith yesterday: (back l-r) Darrell Williams, Norman Elsworth, Pete Tame, Daren Johnson, Tom Edgar, Mick Everett, (front) Star Of Friendship, Isabel Williams, Funtime Snita and Les Davey
Now they plan to get a bit back with Music: The Best Of The Beta Band, a double CD featuring highlights from their four albums - The Three EPs, The Beta Band, Hot Shots II and Heroes To Zeros There's also a live recording of their final show at the Empire in Shepherd's Bush, London.
But Stan decided to give a little bit back asking them where their open-top bus was to pick them up for their tour of the city to celebrate their scrappy, one goal win.
Sales manager Eleanor Sumner, aged 22, said: "We chose to raise money for Baby Lifeline as a few of the staff have been helped by the charity and they wanted to give a bit back.
Hundley) was standing up there a little bit back there,'' Dodgers manager Davey Johnson said.
The 46-year-old is bidding to raise pounds 100,000 for the Retired Greyhound Trust and Help for Heroes by covering some 850 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End in his Give a Bit Back challenge.
WE NOW know that Strictly Come Dancing's sex bomb Austin Healey bit back at male pattern baldness at the Advanced Hair Studio in London.
We are looking to do things throughout the year to give a little bit back, to support people who supported us.
SNOW Patrol are going to give a bit back to their Irish fans.
Technician Marjorie Preston said: "The carers' day is a way for the hair, beauty and therapies department to give a bit back to the community.
Fact is, the lake is every bit back up to its nearly 1,000 surface acres at an elevation of 3,352 feet; DFG surveys show that more than 65 percent of the largemouth population was lost to the drawdown, plunging from an estimated 13,500 bass to about 4,200.