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Difference between Bite one’s tongue and Bite the tongue

bite one’s tongue—

1. hold back a remark one was about to make:

  • The thought … almost slipped out between his lips, but he bit his tongue in time.

2. refrain from discussing smth. embarrassing, etc.:

  • However, one recent story proved extremely hard to bite one’s tongue over.

Note: The expression is not equivalent in meaning to the phrase bite one’s lip—keep back one’s anger, annoyance, etc.; repress an emotion:

  • It was quiet for a moment, and Robert bit his lip, trying not to giggle like a little girl.

bite the tongue —(of food) be spicy or pungent:

  • The cheese has a strong aroma and a lovely salty tang that really bites the tongue.