Bite the bullet


      • To face or endure something difficult or unpleasant
        Accepting an unpleasant situation or task that one would rather avoid, often with determination or courage

      • To make a difficult decision or take necessary action
        Taking decisive and often painful action, even though one may not want to, in order to resolve a problem or issue

    Examples of Bite the bullet

    • Sarah knew that quitting her job and starting her own business would be a huge risk, but she decided to bite the bullet and take the leap.

      Bite the bullet is a phrase that means to face a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage and determination, rather than avoiding it. In this example, Sarah is preparing herself mentally to face the challenges and uncertainties of starting her own business, which she knows will be a significant risk. By using this idiom, we can see that Sarah is ready to face the consequences of her decision, no matter how difficult they may be.


    The idiom "bite the bullet" is used to convey the idea of facing or enduring something difficult. It can be used to advise against engaging in a particular activity or task, cautioning that it will not result in any positive outcome or benefit. In this sense, it is often used to discourage someone from taking a certain action.

    On the other hand, "bite the bullet" can also be used to describe the act of making a difficult decision or taking necessary action. This usage suggests a sense of determination and courage in the face of a challenging situation. It can also convey the idea of taking decisive and often painful action, even though one may not want to, in order to resolve a problem or issue.

    Origin of "Bite the bullet"

    The origin of the idiom "bite the bullet" can be traced back to the 19th century, when soldiers were often given a lead bullet to bites down on during medical procedures without anesthesia. This was done to help them endure the pain and discomfort. Over time, the phrase became associated with facing difficult or unpleasant situations with bravery and determination.

    Another possible origin of the idiom comes from colonial India, where soldiers were given cartridges containing gunpowder and a bullet. In order to use the cartridges, they had to bite off the end, which was greased with animal fat. This was a controversial practice among soldiers, as it went against their religious beliefs. However, they were ordered to "bite the bullet" and use the cartridges anyway, leading to the phrase's usage as a metaphor for accepting a difficult situation.

    Whichever the origin may be, "bite the bullet" has become a commonly used idiom in the English language, conveying the idea of facing challenges and making tough decisions with courage and determination.