• Mite

    Pronunciation

    • enPR: mīt, IPA: /maɪt/Homophones: might
    • Rhymes: -aɪt

    Origin

    Middle English mite (""), from Old English mīte ("mite, tiny insect"), from Proto-Germanic *mītǭ ("biting insect"; literally, "cutter"), from Proto-Germanic *maitaną ("to cut"), from Proto-Indo-European *mey- ("small"). Akin to Old High German mīza ("mite"), Middle Dutch mīte ("moth, mite"), Dutch mijt ("moth, mite"), Danish mide ("mite").

    Full definition of mite

    Noun

    mite

    (plural mites)
    1. A minute arachnid, of the order Acarina, of which there are many species; as, the cheese mite, sugar mite, harvest mite, etc. See Acarina.
    2. A small coin formerly circulated in England, rated at about a third of a farthing. The name is also applied to the lepton, a small coin used in Palestine in the time of Christ.
      • 1803, William Blake, Auguries of InnocenceOne mite wrung from the lab'rer's handsShall buy and sell the miser's lands;
    3. A small weight; one twentieth of a grain.
    4. Anything very small; a minute object; a very little quantity or particle. Sometimes used adverbially.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 5, “Well,” I says, “I cal'late a body could get used to Tophet if he stayed there long enough.” ¶ She flared up; the least mite of a slam at Doctor Wool was enough to set her going.
      • 1959, Frances Cavanah, Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance, Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17315/17315-8.txt:"Those trousers are a mite too big, but you'll soon grow into them."

    Synonyms

    • (small amount) see also .

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