AskDefine | Define biting

Dictionary Definition

biting adj
1 capable of wounding; "a barbed compliment"; "a biting aphorism"; "pungent satire" [syn: barbed, nipping, pungent, mordacious]
2 causing a sharply painful or stinging sensation; used especially of cold; "bitter cold"; "a biting wind" [syn: bitter]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. present participle of bite


  1. The action of the verb to bite.
  2. An occurrence of a bite.


  1. Causing a stinging sensation.
    a biting wind
  2. Cutting or incisive.
    a biting criticism
  3. Tending to bite.
    a biting insect

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

A bite is a wound received from the mouth (and in particular, the teeth) of an animal or person. Animals may bite in self-defense, in an attempt to predate food, as well as part of normal interactions. Other bite attacks may be apparently unprovoked, especially in the case of bites committed by psychologically or emotionally disturbed humans. Some disorders such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome may cause people to bite themselves.
Bite wounds raise a number of medical concerns for the physician or first aider including:


  • Flea bites are responsible for the transmission of bubonic plague.
  • Mosquito bites are responsible for the transmission of malaria.
  • The bites of various animals such as bats, rabbits, wolves, raccoons, .etc may transmit rabies.


Bite wounds are washed, ideally with povidone-iodine soap and water. The injury is then loosely bandaged, but is not sutured due to risk of infection.
Animal bites inflicted by some animals, including carnivorans and bats, are considered possible cases of rabies. The animal is caught alive or dead with its head preserved, so the head can later be analyzed to detect the disease. Signs of rabies include foaming at the mouth, self-mutilation, growling, jerky behavior, and red eyes. If the animal lives for ten days and does not develop rabies, then it is probable that no infection has occurred.
If the animal cannot be captured, prophylactic rabies treatment is recommended in most places. Certain places, such as Hawaii, Australia and the United Kingdom, are known not to have native rabies. Treatment is generally available in North America and the Northern European states.


Biting is an age appropriate behavior and reaction for children 2.5 years and younger. Conversely children above this age have verbal skills to explain their needs and dislikes and biting is not age appropriate. Biting may be prevented by methods including redirection, changing the environment and responding to biting by talking about appropriate ways to express anger and frustration. School age children, those older than 2.5 years, who habitually bite may require professional help.
Biting is also a behavior found in many adult animals (including humans), often as part of sexual petting. Some discussion of human biting appears in The Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.


External links

biting in Czech: Pokousání
biting in German: Biss
biting in French: Morsure
biting in Indonesian: Luka gigitan
biting in Dutch: Bijtwond
biting in Japanese: 動物咬傷
biting in Simple English: Bite

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Attic, Siberian, acerb, acerbate, acerbic, acid, acidic, acidulent, acidulous, acrid, acrimonious, acute, afflictive, agonizing, algid, arctic, asperous, astringent, atrocious, below zero, bitter, bitterly cold, bleak, boreal, brilliant, brisk, brumal, caustic, clear-cut, clever, cold, cold as charity, cold as death, cold as ice, cold as marble, corroding, corrosive, cramping, crisp, cruel, cutting, distressing, double-edged, driving, droll, edged, effective, escharotic, excruciating, facetious, fierce, forceful, forcible, freezing, freezing cold, frigid, funny, gelid, glacial, gnawing, grave, griping, gutsy, hard, harrowing, harsh, hibernal, hiemal, humorous, humorsome, hurtful, hurting, hyperborean, ice-cold, ice-encrusted, icelike, icy, imperative, impressive, incisive, inclement, ingoing, irritating, jesting, jocose, jocular, joking, joky, joshing, keen, keen-witted, mordacious, mordant, nervous, nimble-witted, nipping, nippy, nose-tickling, numbing, painful, paroxysmal, penetrating, piercing, pinching, piquant, poignant, pointed, powerful, punchy, pungent, quick-witted, racking, rapier-like, raw, rigorous, rough, salt, salty, scathing, scintillating, scorching, sensational, severe, sharp, shooting, sinewed, sinewy, slashing, sleety, slushy, smart, snappy, sour, sparkling, spasmatic, spasmic, spasmodic, sprightly, stabbing, stinging, stone-cold, strident, striking, stringent, strong, subzero, supercooled, tart, telling, tormenting, torturous, trenchant, vehement, vigorous, violent, virulent, vital, vitriolic, whimsical, winterbound, winterlike, wintery, wintry, withering, witty
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