bite the bullet

bite the bullet

Meaning

  • to endure a painful experience that you cannot avoid
  • to make yourself endure something unpleasant or painful
  • to be brave and face a difficult situation
  • to avoid showing fear or discomfort in an unpleasant situation

 Example Sentences

  1. When the time comes, I’ll bite the bullet and take my punishment without a fuss.
  2. The accused man bit the bullet as the judge handed down his sentence.
  3. Mary has to learn to bite the bullet and face her fears of flying.
  4. Given what was as stake, Lisa had to bite the bullet and ignore all the blood as she tried to help the accident victim.
  5. All soldiers have to bite the bullet when they get their drafting letter.

Origin

In the medieval times, before the discovery of anaesthesia, when soldiers were wounded in battle and have to be treated or undergo surgery, they were made to bite on something hard to keep them from screaming out in pain. On the battlefield, what was mostly available was a bullet or a leather strap. So soldiers bit the bullet to be able to endure the pain of surgery without anaesthesia. This is where the phrase originates from.

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