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.
Following such a likeable first performance, it was something of a surprise that Bob Bites Back was then allowed to go off at 9-1 in an average maiden hurdle next time.
A tough chapter is around her still, but in the summer of 2006 she bites back and really begins to reshape her world
But simply because, after days of being shouted at and abused, she'llbe the one who bites back.
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.
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.