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 ?
He said: "Bob Bites Back didn't show too much under rules, and can be quirky at times, but he has improved of late.
But simply because, after days of being shouted at and abused, she'llbe the one who bites back.
COOK AND FOURNIER LAND IN GRAZ AS FRIENDLY ALIENS CELEBRATING THE EUROPEAN CULTURAL CAPITAL; AR'S 2004 CONFERENCE RELATES OLD AND NEW IN GREAT EUROPEAN TRADITION; BIRMINGHAM BITES BACK; IS WOOD NOT SO GOOD?; VIEW FROM PITTSBURGH--THE POST-MODERN INDUSTRIAL CITY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY?
OBT Bites Back Oregon Ballet Theatre Keller Auditorium Portland, Oregon October 13-21, 2001
We all have our favorite stories, and love to share details of the Aeroflot flight from hell or the meal that bites back. And we all love to characterize the dire situation in Russia by using the time-honored form of the revealing Russian anecdote: for the economy, the woman on the sidewalk with only one sock to sell, and for alcoholism, doing shots of NyQuil after the vodkas run out.
BOB BITES BACK gave Welsh champion point-to-point rider Rhys Hughes his second success in the Dunraven Bowl Hunter Chase at Chepstow when coming home two lengths clear of the favourite Dead Or Alive, ridden by Dean Coleman, after the pair had jumped the last fence almost together.
First up, the Evan Williamstrained Bob Bites Back was matched at 1.01 for over pounds 7,000 (a crazy bit of business) when he held a clear lead down the back (Nils Anderson left him miles ahead when he fell, having been done at 1.5) only for him to show signs of dogging it, before he unceremoniously unseated Paul Moloney.
6 (5) Jeepers Creepers 2 (15) Flesh-eating Creeper bites back.
The Safari Rally bites back - but Colin McRae tamed it yesterday.