a bit of a/an

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a bit of a/an

1. Somewhat; rather; to some extent. He's a nice enough guy, but he's a bit of a dolt. There's just a bit of an issue with our Wi-Fi at the moment; it should be back on in a few minutes.
2. A very considerable amount or degree. It looks to be a bit of a mess for the prime minister. We'll need a bit of planning to pull off an event this big.
See also: bit, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a bit of a...

(informal, especially British English) used when talking about unpleasant or negative things or ideas, to mean ‘rather a...’: We may have a bit of a problem on our hands.The rail strike is a bit of a pain.
See also: bit, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
Why, by sending out a bit of a cargo to foreign ports; because Bob had a particular friend who had offered to do a little business for him in that way in Laceham goods, and would be glad to serve Mr.
An' there's the shupercargo o' the bit of a vessel as is goin' to take 'em out.
"I've a notion, when I've made a bit more inquiry, as I shall perhaps start Tom here with a bit of a nest-egg,--he'll pay me int'rest, you know,--an' if you've got some little sums lyin' idle twisted up in a stockin' toe, or that "
You see how the first bit of a job answers, an' then you'll come down handsome.
Why, 'cause there's a bit of a moth-hole 'i this plain end.
Wid that I giv'd her a big wink jist to say, "lit Sir Pathrick alone for the likes o' them thricks," and thin I wint aisy to work, and you'd have died wid the divarsion to behould how cliverly I slipped my right arm betwane the back o' the sofy, and the back of her leddyship, and there, sure enough, I found a swate little flipper all a waiting to say, "the tip o' the mornin' to ye, Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt." And wasn't it mesilf, sure, that jist giv'd it the laste little bit of a squaze in the world, all in the way of a commincement, and not to be too rough wid her leddyship?
And says I; "Isn't it the laste little bit of a mistake in the world that ye've been afther the making, yer leddyship?
"She give my head a bit of a rub an' laughed an' she says,
Craven can't bear to see him when he's awake an' it's because his eyes is so like his mother's an' yet looks so different in his miserable bit of a face."