English Idiom – Bite the bullet.

Meaning – To face a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage and determination. This idiom is commonly used to describe a difficult or unpleasant task or situation that one must face head-on, with bravery and determination. When someone says “bite the bullet“, it means that they are urging someone to face the challenge or obstacle in front of them, even if it is uncomfortable, unpleasant, or painful.

The origin of this phrase can be traced back to the 19th century, during a time when soldiers were given bullets to bite on during medical procedures to help them endure or cope with the pain.


When could you use this idiom?

  • When someone needs to face a fear or phobia – such as flying – and you are trying to help them overcome their fear.
  • A friend knows they have to break up with their partner, but they are reluctant to make that tough decision.
  • If someone needs to take responsibility for a mistake they’ve made.
  • You are trying to encourage someone to overcome a difficult challenge.


  • “When I accidentally sent an embarrassing email to my boss, I had to bite the bullet and apologise. It was awkward, but it brought us closer together.”

In The News:

Subsistence Or Business? More Local Producers Will Need To Bite The Bullet On Food Safety As Demand Grows


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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