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Idiom

Bite the Bullet: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
To make yourself do something difficult or unpleasant that you have been avoiding doing.
Origin
This idiom is believed to have originated during the American Civil War. When wounded soldiers needed to be operated on and there were no painkillers available, army doctors often gave the patients a bullet to bite on to focus their attention on the biting instead of the painful operation. Patients could either choose to die or ‘bite the bullet’ and face the extremely painful operation!
Examples
“I can’t believe I haven’t found a new job yet. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and sell my car so I can pay my rent!”

“My teacher knew I cheated so I had to bite the bullet and admit it.”

Ben: “When are you going to break up with Fiona? I know you don’t love her anymore.”
Rory: “I know. You’re right. I just don’t want to hurt her feelings.”
Ben: “The longer you leave it, the harder it will be. You just need to bite the bullet and tell her!”