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Bit

The smallest unit of information a computer can hold in its memory. A bit is always represented as a 0 or a 1 in binary code. The word is a contraction of "binary digit."

bit

a digit which takes the value zero or one and which can therefore be represented electronically by an off/on switch in a COMPUTER. Computers use groups of bits to represent numbers or letters for storage, transmission and processing of numerical or alphabetical data. Specifically, computers use various off/on permutations of eight bits to represent all numbers, letters and punctuation characters. Most computers use multiples of eight bits to handle data in this way and various eight-bit, sixteen-bit and thirty-two bit machines are available, the larger ones generally being able to process data faster.
References in classic literature ?
I've a notion, when I've made a bit more inquiry, as I shall perhaps start Tom here with a bit of a nest-egg,--he'll pay me int'rest, you know,--an' if you've got some little sums lyin' idle twisted up in a stockin' toe, or that "
I got my bit of a nest-egg, as the master calls it, all by my own sharpness,--ten suvreigns it was,--wi' dousing the fire at Torry's mill, an' it's growed an' growed by a bit an' a bit, till I'n got a matter o' thirty pound to lay out, besides makin' my mother comfor'ble.
If they're damaged goods, they're like enough to be a bit the better quality.
Why, 'cause there's a bit of a moth-hole 'i this plain end.
But now, little Aaron, having become used to the weaver's awful presence, had advanced to his mother's side, and Silas, seeming to notice him for the first time, tried to return Dolly's signs of good-will by offering the lad a bit of lard-cake.
But he wanted to show her that he was grateful, and the only mode that occurred to him was to offer Aaron a bit more cake.
And so I wish you good-bye, Master Marner; and if you ever feel anyways bad in your inside, as you can't fend for yourself, I'll come and clean up for you, and get you a bit o' victual, and willing.