Biting the Bullet Meaning, Synonyms, Examples

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biting the bullet meaning

No one likes doing laundry, do they? No matter whom you ask, everyone’s always “bitting the bullet”, meaning they finally decide to do it when there’s no other way left to avoid it. The idiom “bite the bullet” refers to forcefully doing something difficult or unpleasant, or to be brave in a difficult situation. It is often used when someone has to face a challenge or accept a reality that they cannot avoid. For example, “I hate studying, but I have to bite the bullet and do it.”

The phrase was first introduced in Rudyard Kipling’s 1891 novel “The Light That Failed”. Some sources trace its origin to the military, when wounded soldiers were given a bullet to bite on during surgery without anesthesia. It was supposed to help them endure the pain and not scream. Another possible source is from the Indian Rebellion of 1857, when the soldiers used to bite the cartridge off the rifles. 

Usage With Examples

Here’s how you can use the idiom “biting the bullet” accurately in a sentence:

  1. After years of procrastination, he finally bit the bullet and enrolled in a college course.
  2. She was afraid of flying, but she bit the bullet and boarded the plane to visit her family.
  3. They had been dating for a long time, but he couldn’t bite the bullet and propose to her.

Also Read: 500+ Most Commonly Used Idioms in English

Synonyms and Similar Phrases

Here are some words and phrases having similar meaning as the idiom “biting the bullet”:

  1. Facing the music
  2. Grin and bear it
  3. Tough it out
  4. Take the plunge
  5. Deal with it
  6. Stand one’s ground
  7. Suck it up
  8. Be forced
  9. Bow to fate
  10. Cross the Rubicon
  11. Have no choice/alternative
  12. Pay the piper
  13. Leap into the breach
  14. Swallow the pill
  15. Take it

Also Read: Around the Clock Idiom Meaning, Synonyms, Examples

Biting the Bullet Meaning Quiz

Which of the following sentences uses the idiom “biting the bullet” correctly?

A) He was so hungry that he bit the bullet and ate the whole pizza by himself. 

B) She bit the bullet and told him the truth, even though she knew it would hurt him.

C) He bit the bullet and ran away from the fight, because he was scared of getting hurt. D) She bit the bullet and bought a new dress, even though she didn’t need it.

The correct answer is B. 

We hope that this helped you understand “biting the bullet” meaning, its usage in a sentence, and words and phrases similar to it. Keep following Leverage Edu to learn more idioms like these daily. Happy Learning!

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