Example sentence:

She bit off a sigh. There was no use with arguing with him.

Does bit off mean that the person stifled the sigh or that she let it out?

The word "bite" makes me think of the former, but I'm not very sure.

  • I think it should be "no use in arguing with him" or just "no use arguing with him". "On arguing" is not idiomatic.
    – Andrew
    Aug 1 '18 at 16:19
  • Where did you get that sentence? It does not sound right.
    – Lambie
    Aug 1 '18 at 19:03

I have only seen it used in the former sense—she stopped herself from sighing.

It has the same idiomatic meaning as bite your tongue:


to stop yourself from saying something that you would really like to say:
I wanted to tell him exactly what I thought of him, but I had to bite my tongue.

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