Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Informal Twenty-five cents.
  • n.pl. Slang A petty sum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Twenty-five cents, or a quarter.

Etymologies

based on the old monetary bit, which was one eighth of an old Spanish dollar (or 12½ cents in more modern usage) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • There are the thousand varieties of "New Thought" Bootstrap-lifters; the mystic and transcendentalist, Swedenborgian and Jacob Boehme Bootstrap-lifters; the Elbert Hubbard high-art Bootstrap-lifters with half a million magazinelets at two bits apiece; the "uplift" and "optimist," the Ralph Waldo Trine and Orison Swett Marden Bootstrap-lifters with a hundred thousand volumes at one dollar per volume.

    The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation

  • “Don’t you worry two bits about that,” his mother said and handed Sue Williams a plate to dry.

    Plain Language

  • When we went again I bought with these two bits four more of these glasses, which I sold for four bits on our return to Montserrat; and in our next voyage to St. Eustatia I bought two glasses with one bit, and with the other three I bought a jug of Geneva, nearly about three pints in measure.

    The Life of Olaudah Equiano Or Gustavus Vassa The African

  • She kissed him on the breast, and made two bits of forget-me-not lodge one over each nipple, kissing him again.

    Lady Chatterley's Lover

  • Then she pulled out from her bosom two bits of Comorin lign-aloes and, kindling fire in a chafing dish, chose somewhat of them and threw it in, then she whistled a loud whistle and spake words none understood.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Quite as if he, too, were thinking of trifles, Felix Kennaston took up the two bits of metal.

    The Cream of the Jest: A Comedy of Evasions

  • Pairing occurs when two bits of information are wedded and stored in long-term memory together.

    A Mind at a Time

  • For another little while I go alongpar, par, parwithout trouble, though maybe one or two bits of the frosting blow off in the winda missed birdie opportunity, a less than stellar driveand it begins to seem that the top of the dam is growing even narrower.

    The Italian Summer

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