A bit is the basic unit of information in computing and digital communications. A bit can have only one of two values, and may therefore be physically implemented with a two-state device. The most common representation of these values are . The term bit is a contraction of binary digit.

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  1. A piece of metal placed in a horse's mouth and connected to reins to direct the animal.
  2. A rotary cutting tool fitted to a drill, used to make holes.
  3. An eighth of a dollar. Note that there is no coin minted worth 12.5 cents. (When this term first came into use, the Spanish 8 reales coin was widely used as a dollar equivalent, and thus the 1 real coin was equivalent to 12.5 cents.)
  4. A coin of a specified value. (Also used for a nine-pence coin in the British Caribbean.)
  5. In the southern and southwestern states, a small silver coin (such as the real) formerly current; commonly, one worth about 12½ cents; also, the sum of 12½ cents.
  6. A small amount of something.
  7. Specifically, a small amount of time.
  8. A portion of something.
  9. Somewhat; something, but not very great; also used like jot and whit to express the smallest degree.
    Am I bored? Not a bit of it!
  10. A prison sentence, especially a short one.
  11. An excerpt of material making up part of a show, comedy routine, etc.
  12. The part of a key which enters the lock and acts upon the bolt and tumblers.
  13. The cutting iron of a plane.

Noun (etymology 2)

  1. A binary digit, generally represented as a 1 or 0.
  2. The smallest unit of storage in a digital computer, consisting of a binary digit.
  3. Any datum that may take on one of exactly two values.
    status bits on IRC; permission bits in a file system
  4. A unit of measure for information entropy.


  1. To put a bridle upon; to put the bit in the mouth of (a horse).

Verb (etymology 2)


Your dog bit me!



  1. bitten.
    Even though he's bit, of course the zombies would still chase him.
  2. Having been bitten.


  1. To a small extent; in a small amount (usually with "a").
    That's a bit too sweet.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: bit
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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