What's the meaning of: "She bit down on a smile"? I found this sentence in a novel but I don't understand what it means exactly. It's a romantic context, a man just kissed her.
It seems she may be trying to suppress the smile. When I check it out on Google Ngram, the attestations mostly seem to come from pulp romantic fiction, which suggests that this may be a formulaic phrase which writers in that genre are copying from each other (or one that a series editor is injecting).
Imagine this - You are ecstatic! Maybe you got a promotion in your job or you just heard the news that you are going to be a parent or maybe your novel is finally getting published. But you are in a formal place, you might have the need to keep yourself composed and not start laughing like a lunatic.
You might quite literally, bite down on your smile to keep a straight yet happy face.
This is what the author might want to convey via the said phrase. The girl is happy but might want to retain her composure. Thus, the action.