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See also: beissen and béissen


Alternative forms[edit]

  • beissen (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, sometimes also Luxembourg, South Tyrol)


From Middle High German bīzen, from Old High German bīzan, from Proto-Germanic *bītaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyd- (to split). Cognate with Dutch bijten, Low German bieten, English bite, Danish bide, Swedish bita.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbaɪ̯sən/, [ˈbäe̯sn̩]
  • (file)


beißen (class 1 strong, third-person singular simple present beißt, past tense biss, past participle gebissen, past subjunctive bisse, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive or intransitive) to bite
  2. (transitive or intransitive) to sting; to burn; to be sharp; to be spicy
  3. (reflexive, slightly informal, of colors and clothes) to clash; to jar

Usage notes[edit]

  • In English, bloodsuckers are said to “bite”. In German, beißen is generally used with crawling bloodsuckers only, while stechen (to sting) is used with flying bloodsuckers. Thus, you speak of a Flohbiss (flea bite), but a Mückenstich (mosquite bite).


Derived terms[edit]

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