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Bit by bit   /bɪt baɪ bɪt/   Listen
Bit by bit

adverb
1.
A little bit at a time.  Synonyms: in stages, little by little, piecemeal.
2.
In a gradual manner.  Synonyms: gradually, step by step.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bit by bit" Quotes from Famous Books



... on that gas-lit morning, he learnt bit by bit the extent of her elaborate preparations. The breakfast was a special breakfast, and he had to eat it all. Then the cab came, and he saw Amy put hot bricks into it. Constance herself put goloshes over his boots, not because it was damp, but because indiarubber keeps the feet warm. ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... If they spend L5 a week it's as much as they do. Of course that sounds a lot, but since if things were divided fairly everybody who works ought to get far more, it's not extravagant riches. Wine and water doesn't cost more than beer, and the things they've got were picked up bit by bit. It's what they've got and the way it's put that looks so nice. There's nothing but what's pretty, and she is always adding something or other. She idolises Art and ...
— The Workingman's Paradise - An Australian Labour Novel • John Miller

... I have set it down here, though perhaps even in greater detail, but incoherently, bit by bit, while he helped me out with gentle questions, quickly comprehending gestures, and patient waiting during the pauses of exhaustion which perforce interposed themselves. As my story approached its climax, his agitation grew almost equal to my own, and ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... what she knew of Violet, bit by bit, as he drew it out of her. She was very fond of Violet. Violet had pretty ways that made you fond of her. Everybody was fond of Violet. Only her people—they'd been a bit too harsh and strict with her, Winny fancied. Not that she knew anything but what ...
— The Combined Maze • May Sinclair

... under my arms. You can be inside the machine paying out slack as I need it. I can take a similar loop and by crawling under the machine I can reach Jack all right and pass the loop about his body. Then you can haul in slack bit by bit as he crawls along the truss rod to the side of the fuselage. In that way there will be practically no danger, for the loop of line about our bodies will prevent our ...
— Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal - or Perils of the Black Bear Patrol • G. Harvey Ralphson

... Bit by bit he had pieced together a few sketchy fragments of Miss Terroll's biography, just enough to make the wish for fuller knowledge tantalizing. That was her maiden name, also used as a stage name, but she had been married ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... of silence. Bit by bit the sky became overcast. Vague, fleecy rifts of clouds appeared in the heavens. A wind sprang up, murmuring about them, there came a distant roll of thunder, while along the horizon the lightning rushed in broken, jagged lines of fire. In the ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... And, bit by bit, the tongue withdrew, and only the gaping mouth was left, and above it a pair of frightened green eyes, transmitting to the perverse little soul within ...
— A Maid of the Silver Sea • John Oxenham

... these farmer women, living a skimmed milk existence, putting their youth, and health, and looks into the soil. They used often to sit back near the stove in winter, or in a cool corner near the front of the store in summer, and reveal, bit by bit, the sordid, tragic details of their starved existence. Fanny was often shocked when they told their age—twenty-five, twenty-eight, thirty, but old and withered from drudgery, and child-bearing, and coarse, unwholesome food. Ignorant women, and terribly lonely, with the dumb, lack-luster ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... have already described so much of the civil government in operation in the United States that this account can be made much more concise than if we had started at the top instead of the bottom and begun to portray our national government before saying a word about states and counties and towns. Bit by bit the general theory of American self-government has already been set before the reader. We have now to observe, in conclusion, what a magnificent piece of constructive work has been performed in accordance with that general theory. We have to observe the building ...
— Civil Government in the United States Considered with - Some Reference to Its Origins • John Fiske

... of the Scot that, having small territory, little wealth, and a seat among his peers that is almost ostentatiously humble, he should bit by bit absorb the possessions of all the rest and become their master. Surely, the proud Tudors, whose line ended with Elizabeth, must have despised the "Stewards," whose kingdom was small and bleak and cold, and who could not ...
— Famous Affinities of History, Vol 1-4, Complete - The Romance of Devotion • Lyndon Orr

... Bit by bit I counted out the currency; and it took some little time. But when it was done she took it eagerly enough, laughing her thanks and dancing away toward her lodge. And if her dusky sisters envied her they smiled on me no less merrily as I took my leave of them. And very courteously ...
— The Hidden Children • Robert W. Chambers

... looked longer, noting how little by comparison were the trains I knew to be of regulation U. S. size, how literally tiny were the scores upon scores of men far down below who were doing this thing, its significance regained bit by bit its proper proportions. Train after train-load of the spoil of the "cut" ground away towards the Pacific; and here man had been digging steadily, if not always earnestly, since a year before I was born. The gigantic scene recalled to the mind the "industrial army" of which ...
— Zone Policeman 88 - A Close Range Study of the Panama Canal and its Workers • Harry A. Franck

... Doctrine.—The central problem for the living Church has always been: Who was Jesus? and how to worship Him? The restless spirit of humanity endeavoured to define the details both in His relation to God and to the world. The Church did not define her doctrine in advance, but bit by bit, pragmatically, according to the questions and doubts raised in the Christian communities. The refused solutions of a raised question were called heresy, the adopted solution by the Church was called orthodoxy. No heresy came ...
— The Agony of the Church (1917) • Nikolaj Velimirovic

... of the first performance, in the upper loft of the La Scala, where he had been confined by the manager under the guard of four scene-shifters, who threw the text out of the window to copyists bit by bit as it was composed. Tartini is said to have composed "Il trillo del Diavolo," considered to be his best work, in a dream. Rossini, speaking of the chorus in G minor in his "Dal tuo stellato soglio," tells us: "While I was writing the chorus in G minor I suddenly dipped my pen into a medicine ...
— The Pleasures of Life • Sir John Lubbock

... to be. So we got to speak of her as the Queen of the Pool; and it was because I had been challenged to catch her by the score of fellows who had been trying for her that I went out on this particular day. I took boat an hour before I intended to fish, and dropped quietly down, bit by bit, at intervals, to the spot I had marked in my eye. It was not far from the head of the sluice, and, therefore, a most critical position. I had worn the B. Pond stuck in my hat for days, so that it should ...
— Lines in Pleasant Places - Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler • William Senior

... was slow to read character. Her impulse was always to believe in people, and to like them; and she had to acquire a knowledge of their faults painfully, bit by bit. But Colonel Colquhoun helped her here. He was an inveterate gossip, very much in the manner of Mrs. Guthrie Brimston herself, only that he was more refined when he talked to Evadne; and at breakfast, their ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... better to send a sucking pig to the gaoler. Against such pricks, my boy, there is no kicking. This is like a cold bath: if a man enters slowly, bit by bit, his teeth chatter: if he springs in at once, it is even pleasant. Let us talk of more ...
— Debts of Honor • Maurus Jokai

... So, bit by bit, the long day passed away, and I thought it would never end. For Helene and I sat and waited for that which might happen, with beating and anxious hearts. Ofttimes I ran to the top of the Red Tower, and sometimes it seemed that I could see a moving cloud of dust, ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... London! They'd give you a start, and no mistake! Yes, hotels! There aren't twenty people in England who know what a hotel is! But I know!" He paused, and added reflectively, in a comically naive tone: "Curious how these things come to you, bit by bit! Now, if it hadn't been ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... the domain of nature therefore is through analysis and the gradual methods of science, but our apprehension of truth in our soul is immediate and through direct intuition. We cannot attain the supreme soul by successive additions of knowledge acquired bit by bit even through all eternity, because he is one, he is not made up of parts; we can only know him as heart of our hearts and soul of our soul; we can only know him in the love and joy we feel when we give up our self and stand before ...
— Sadhana - The Realisation of Life • Rabindranath Tagore

... around the fire. The caldron was taken off, its contents served, and the meal began. The Prince received his share, but he knew how to manage, and, instead of eating, he slyly threw the meat, bit by bit, behind him. He did the same with the roast. Then the ...
— Tales of Wonder Every Child Should Know • Various

... had left it, why she did not at once discover. But, growing uneasy as the advancing hours neither brought Sylvia nor little Bella to their home, she had set out for Jeremiah Foster's as soon as she had seen her mother comfortably asleep in her bed; and then she had learnt the whole story, bit by bit, as each person who spoke broke in upon the previous narration with some new particular. But from no one did she clearly learn whether Sylvia was with her husband, or not; and so she came speeding along the road, breathless, to where Kester sate in wakeful, mournful silence, his sister's sleeping ...
— Sylvia's Lovers — Complete • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... saw the sun rise and set. There was merely a streak of unpleasantly brilliant light across the sky. Bit by bit, building by building, the city began to disintegrate and become replaced by smaller, dingier buildings. In a little while those began to disappear and leave ...
— The Runaway Skyscraper • Murray Leinster

... interchange of letters thus begun; and when the well-known envelope arrived high holiday was immediately proclaimed by the recipient of it. He did not show Ingram these letters, of course, but the contents of them were soon bit by bit revealed. He was also permitted to see the envelope, as if Sheila's handwriting had some magical charm about it. Sometimes, indeed, Ingram had himself a letter from Sheila, and that was immediately shown to Lavender. Was he pleased ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XI, No. 27, June, 1873 • Various

... fall and early winter. Bit by bit the days grew shorter; and then as a pendulum vibrates, lengthened shade by shade. No human being came their way, nor wild thing, save roving murderers on pillage bent. Even the cowmen he employed, the old hands he and Bess had both ...
— Where the Trail Divides • Will Lillibridge

... in bed, in ideal quiet, her eyes turned toward the window. Bit by bit, she saw the evening descending upon the most beautiful ...
— The Inferno • Henri Barbusse

... a long time to save enough money to provide for those who are dependent upon us; and there is always the temptation to encroach upon the funds set apart for death, which—as most people suppose—may be a far-distant event. So that saving bit by bit, from week to week, cannot always be ...
— Thrift • Samuel Smiles

... bit by bit reached Mr. Wainwright's ears, and at last induced him to go over to Paris, so that the absolute and proof-sustained truth of the matter might be ascertained, and made known to all men. The poor man's search was difficult ...
— Castle Richmond • Anthony Trollope

... Jean Servien spent his days in translating Myrrha bit by bit, with an infinity of pains. The task having taught him something of verse-making, he composed an ode, which he sent by post to his mistress. The poem was writ in tears of blood, yet it was as cold and insipid as a schoolboy's exercise. Still, he did get something said ...
— The Aspirations of Jean Servien • Anatole France

... have not loved Thee, O Christ. We have not trusted Thy love. We have not been zealous for Thy glory. This—this is our sin. All else Thou would'st have mended in us; but this—this is our sin. Have mercy! Have mercy! Have mercy!" Long confession came from him slowly, bit by bit, as if sent forth, in involuntary cries, from a heart rent by the disappointment of waiting. In strong voice, clear and true, he made himself one with the vilest in this pleading, and all the vices with which the ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... that the job seemed what you called it just now, hopeless, and you were going back, I should feel ashamed of you all. You take my advice, sir, and stick to it like a man. It's like looking for a needle in a bundle of hay, I know; but the needle's there, and you've got to pick out the hay bit by bit till there's nothing left but dust—it's sand here—then you've got to blow the dust away, and there's ...
— In the Mahdi's Grasp • George Manville Fenn

... bit by bit up to the level of the earnest plea of this special revelation, as bit by bit it opens to him, will find his understanding of it wonderfully clearing. Obedience is the organ of understanding. Through it there comes clear ...
— Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation • S. D. Gordon

... nursing to the pianoforte proposers, the haberdashery shop to the private school advocates. "Tell me what you think," she said repeatedly. And they all told her they thought their plan was best. And bit by bit she told every advocate the proposal of every other advocate "Well, Lawyer Beeby thinks—" and "Well now, Mr. Clay, the minister, advises—" and so on and so on, till it was all buzzing through thirty benevolent and officious heads. And thirty benevolently-officious ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... began to disclose a comic aspect; the plight of poor, respectable Mr. Peaslee, in all the fresh honors of his jurorship, began to show a ludicrous side; their own position as grave men seeing what they thought a serious offense change, as by magic, into a farcical accident, bit by bit revealed its humor. ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... parsley very finely chopped, and the juice of half a small lemon. These must be added to one third the quantity of Espagnole, or Spanish sauce, given in the foregoing recipe. Then stir in gradually, bit by bit, one ounce of butter, letting each piece ...
— Choice Cookery • Catherine Owen

... read it all. But look, I could bear all that easier than this. I could stand to have my body torn to pieces bit by bit rather than see my darling child, my baby, injured. Was His ...
— The Unknown Wrestler • H. A. (Hiram Alfred) Cody

... Bit by bit he told the story— How he'd wandered all around Since he left his Kansas homestead And the folks near North Pole mound; How he'd traveled all through Texas With the roving fever on, Camping oft in strange new places, Where no other soul had gone. ...
— Nancy MacIntyre • Lester Shepard Parker

... teleological scheme complete and unalterable, which had been revealed to man once and for all by a highly anthropomorphic God, whose existence was assumed. The duty of man towards this revelation was to accept its doctrines and obey its precepts. The notion that this revelation had grown bit by bit out of man's consciousness and that his business was to better it would have seemed rank blasphemy. Religion, so conceived, left no place for development. "The Truth" might be learnt, but never critically ...
— Darwin and Modern Science • A.C. Seward and Others

... the high-way road for carriages being at that time over White Moss Common. The late Dr. Arnold, of Rugby and Foxhowe, used to name the three roads from Rydal to Grasmere thus: the highest, "Old Corruption"; the intermediate, "Bit by bit Reform"; the lowest and most level, "Radical Reform." Wordsworth was never quite reconciled to the radical reform effected on a road that used to be so delightfully wild and picturesque. The spot which the three friends rather infelicitously named "Point Rash-Judgment" ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... Edward Henry employed Mr. Marrier in order to listen to Mr. Marrier. He turned on Mr. Marrier like a tap, and nourished himself from a gushing stream of useful information concerning the theatrical world. Mr. Marrier, quite unconsciously, was bit by bit ...
— The Regent • E. Arnold Bennett

... bit by bit, and fairly wore 'em down. They weren't all sailormen, or we couldn't have done it, for they had the numbers; but an Englishman on his own ship is worth any two furriners—aye, half a dozen some do say, though I wouldn't go so far as that myself—and at the last some of ...
— In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India • Herbert Strang

... circumstances, both her temperament and her affections drove her inevitably into trying, first to attract, then to move and influence her companion. And given the circumstances, he could but yield himself bit by bit to her woman's charm; while full all the time of a confident ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. I • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Bit by bit the hastily joined structure upon which he rode the waters so insecurely began to disintegrate, until but one ...
— The Flaw in the Sapphire • Charles M. Snyder

... to find that out myself," said the Colonel; "and I think I shall. When I get the first inch of the thread fast between my finger and thumb, it goes hard but I follow it up, bit by bit, little by little, tracing it this way and that, and up and down, and round about, until the whole clue is wound up on my thumb, and the end, and its secret, fast in my fingers. Ingenious! Crafty as five foxes! wide awake as a weasel! Parbleu! if I had descended to that occupation ...
— The Room in the Dragon Volant • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... clearly delineated through their speech and through the parts that they have played in the tale that they are telling. This device is used in nearly all the stories of the "Soldiers Three." The narrator meets Mulvaney, Ortheris, and Learoyd under certain circumstances, and gathers from them bit by bit the various features of the story,—one detail being contributed by one of the actors, another by another, until out of the successive fragments the story is built up. It is in this way also, as we have already noted, that the tale of Mrs. Bathurst ...
— A Manual of the Art of Fiction • Clayton Hamilton

... unconvinced. But apprehension is short-lived in young hearts. The sun shone, the sky spread a speckless blue over desert and mountain, the day was for them together. They did not promise all of it to themselves at once—they filched its sweetness bit by bit, moment by moment, and hour by hour, declaring to each other they must part, and dulling the pain of parting with the anodyne of procrastination. Thus, the whole day went to their castles and dreams. In a retired corner of the cool dining-room ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... the actual changing of practical things in the direction of the coming Socialized State, the actual socialization, bit by bit and more and more completely, of the land, of the means of production, of education and child welfare, of insurance and the food supply, the realization, in fact, of that great design which the intellectual process of Socialism ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... go to Pymeut the next day, but his feet refused to carry him. Mac took a diagram and special directions, and went after the rest of elephas, conveying the few clumsy relics home, bit by bit, with a devotion worthy of a ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... self-sacrifice, are provided, and that in a purely Native garb, and yet with all the advantages of European leadership and enthusiasm. And finally there is land in abundance which Government desires to see colonised, and which is being slowly retailed out bit by bit in a manner altogether unworthy of the ...
— Darkest India - A Supplement to General Booth's "In Darkest England, and the Way Out" • Commissioner Booth-Tucker

... "infidel," who is, at the same time, preeminently a gardener, is none other than Priapus himself, god of gardens and of drunkenness, a divinity who must have been pure and serious in his origin as is the mystery of birth, but who has been degraded bit by bit through license of ...
— The Devil's Pool • George Sand

... had listened attentively to this friendly message as it was interpreted to him bit by bit, but without betraying the slightest concern. ...
— The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood • Arthur Griffiths

... they sat together, the story of the fight came out. Jim told it bit by bit, not eager. When it was done, Agatha was still puzzled. "Why should he come here? ...
— The Stolen Singer • Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger

... out the strange manuscript bit by bit; when he came to the end he cried, "Now I will play it through for you," which he did without a mistake. Goethe was well pleased and begged Felix to come every day and play, while he was in the city. The two became fast friends; the poet treated him as a son, and at parting begged he ...
— The World's Great Men of Music - Story-Lives of Master Musicians • Harriette Brower

... St. Jude's than it had at first, and he left the church with a very clear impression of the clergyman put carefully away beside his appreciation of Leh Shin's assistant. He had caught just a glimpse of the personality of the man, and was busy building it up bit by bit, working out his idea by first trying to fathom the temperament that dwelt in the spare body and drove and wore ...
— The Pointing Man - A Burmese Mystery • Marjorie Douie

... centre of the back, and one round each ear.) When it first came into my mind I was at a loss who to trust in the matter. I thought of Vendon, but I found Vendon was dead. I thought of Brownlow, but Brownlow was no longer faithful. (Two strokes down the back and two on the throat.) Then bit by bit I remembered you. I was in Brazil at the time. So I sent for you. You came. So far ...
— A Bid for Fortune - or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta • Guy Boothby

... age? If you are good, strong, and handsome, you have a fine fortune indeed at twenty, but how much of it will be left at sixty? For you must live on your capital; there is no investing your powers so that you may get a small annuity of life for ever: you must eat up your principal bit by bit and be tortured by seeing it grow continually smaller and smaller, even though you happen to escape being rudely robbed of it by crime or casualty. Remember, too, that there never yet was a man of forty ...
— Selections from Previous Works - and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals • Samuel Butler

... I'm not afraid," he said slowly. "But I'd rather have them take the flesh off that arm bit by bit than get up and speak to them. I'd have to tell them the truth, don't you see, Margaret? How can ...
— The Doctor - A Tale Of The Rockies • Ralph Connor

... girl had come two or three times and they had talked. But the curious Lili had not so easily succeeded in finding out anything about the life of the little Frenchwoman; the girl was very reserved; she had had to worm her story out of her, bit by bit. Frau Reinhart knew that she was called Antoinette Jeannin; she had no fortune, and no friends, except a younger brother who lived in Paris and to whom she was devoted. She used always to talk of him; he was the only subject about which she ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... and listening for the whistles from certain railway stations, veritable "horns of Elf-land, faintly blowing.'' Then, a ghostly passenger, I have taken my seat in a phantom train, and sped up, up, through the map, rehearsing the journey bit by bit: through the furnace-lit Midlands, and on till the grey glimmer of dawn showed stone walls in place of hedges, and masses looming up on either side; till the bright sun shone upon brown leaping streams and purple heather, and the clear, sharp northern air streamed ...
— Pagan Papers • Kenneth Grahame

... seem in sense. But since such place is nowhere, for a fact, As said before, 'tis rent and scattered forth, And so goes under. Or again, if now I please to grant the false, and say that soul Can thus be lumped within the frames of those Who leave the sunshine, dying bit by bit, Still must the soul as mortal be confessed; Nor aught it matters whether to wrack it go, Dispersed in the winds, or, gathered in a mass From all its parts, sink down to brutish death, Since more and more in every region sense ...
— Of The Nature of Things • [Titus Lucretius Carus] Lucretius

... "It may come bit by bit or by a sudden bound or never," was Doctor Holiday's opinion. "There is nothing that I know of that she or you or any one can do except let nature take her course. It is a case of time and patience. I am glad you brought her to us. ...
— Wild Wings - A Romance of Youth • Margaret Rebecca Piper

... that's their misfortune. You see, if you keep adding copper bit by bit to a child's food, you prevent the growth of its bones, and he'll be a dwarf; and if from his youth up you poison a man with gold, ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... their talk wandered on, bit by bit, he gave her all his confidence, and she had felt herself honoured in receiving it. She understood now at least something—a first fraction—of that inner life, masked so well beneath his quiet English capacity and unassuming manner. He had ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... necessary brevity, what is most important of the little that is known of this interesting people. All records bearing upon the subject are imperfect, and the best of them are more profuse in speculation and surmise than in solid fact. The information possessed has been drawn bit by bit from the reluctant Japanese. The difficulties of investigation have been almost insurmountable,—no visitor, during two hundred years, having been allowed the slightest freedom of association with the people, or opportunity for travel. With very few exceptions, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... chap, woonce, had any wit To try an' scrape together zome vew pound, To buy some cows an' teaeke a bit o' ground, He mid become a farmer, bit by bit. But, hang it! now the farms be all so big, An' bits o' groun' so skeae'ce, woone got no scope; If woone could seaeve a poun', woone couldden hope To keep noo live ...
— Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect • William Barnes

... obscure Twinklers of such manifest youth should rise politely and considerately each morning very early, and get themselves dressed and out of the way in at the most ten minutes, leaving the cabin clear for the slow and careful putting together bit by bit of that which ultimately emerged a perfect specimen of a lady of riper years, but the weedy Twinkler insisted on lying in her berth so late that if the ladies wished to be in time for the best parts of breakfast, which they naturally ...
— Christopher and Columbus • Countess Elizabeth Von Arnim

... Bit by bit the story came out. The poor little heart unburdened itself to sympathetic ears, and the girl could hardly believe that it was she—Marjory Davidson—who was talking like this to a stranger. She felt for the first time in her life the relief of confiding in some one who really understands, and ...
— Hunter's Marjory - A Story for Girls • Margaret Bruce Clarke

... time Charley was not idle. The fate of 'Crinoline and Macassar' has not yet been told; nor has that of the two rival chieftains, the 'Baron of Ballyporeen and Sir Anthony Allan-a- dale.' These heartrending tales appeared in due course, bit by bit, in the pages of the Daily Delight. On every morning of the week, Sundays excepted, a page and a half of Charley's narrative was given to the expectant public; and though I am not prepared to say ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... pity for the man whose life secrets he had sapped in those four long years of treason to friendship. He recalled with a secret complacence the steps which had led him, bit by bit, into Hugh Worthington's confidence, through the ...
— The Midnight Passenger • Richard Henry Savage

... criticism; but I am dreadfully unsystematic. It is my first large work involving much of the labour of others. I began with the intention of writing a comparatively short sketch, enlarged it, and added to it bit by bit; remodelled the tables, the headings, and almost everything else, more than once, and got my materials in such confusion that it is a wonder it has not turned out far more crooked and confused than it is. I, no doubt, ought to have given references; but ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... It has been the same thing ever since. We fight piecemeal; and while the Romans hurl their whole strength against one tribe the others look on with folded hands. Who aided the Trinobantes when the Romans defeated them and established themselves on that hill? No one. They will eat Britain up bit by bit." ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... sources was opened out, and it began to be whispered (a whisper that could be traced to the private utterances of Miss Gladys Armstrong) that the prototype of Laura was a Miss Audrey Craven. In the person of her ubiquitous double, Miss Audrey Craven became a leading figure in London society. Then bit by bit the news got into the papers, and Wyndham's succes d'estime was followed by succes de scandale which promised ...
— Audrey Craven • May Sinclair

... also could use his hands well—most willingly helping, Young contrived in a surprisingly short time to make a rough windlass, that was effective enough for the work to be done with it, and to pull it up bit by bit into the chamber in the rock and there fit it together over the hole. El Sabio, being brought into the recess behind the idol, regarded us all with a doubting expression that even Pablo's repeated assurances that ...
— The Aztec Treasure-House • Thomas Allibone Janvier

... was made, and the road was carried on a level round the foot of the hill. My friend Arnold pointed these out to me, and, quizzing my politics, said, the first denoted the old Tory corruption, the second bit by bit, the third ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... the double dykes have fallen bit by bit into the burn, and the path they made safe is again as naked as when the Kingoldrum Jacobites filed along it, and sweer they were, to the support of the Pretender. It traverses a ridge and is streaked with slippery ...
— Sentimental Tommy - The Story of His Boyhood • J. M. Barrie

... of insecurity had grown on her. It had something to do with Mona, with Maggie and Maggie's baby. She had no clear illumination, only a mournful acquiescence in her own futility, an almost physical sense of shrinkage, the crumbling away, bit by bit, of her beautiful and honorable self, dying with the objects of its three profound affections: her father, her mother, Robin. Gradually the image of the middle-aged Robin had effaced ...
— Life and Death of Harriett Frean • May Sinclair

... autumns, suddenly you may be startled by the stealthy, unconcerned approach of a great snake three feet long at least, winding along the gully by the roadside. Half fascinated and altogether fearful, you watch her pass by till she disappears bit by bit in an incredibly small fissure in the vineyard wall, leaving you breathless. Or all day long you will lie under the olives waiting for the coolness of evening, listening to the sound of everlasting summer, the piping of a shepherd, the little lovely song of a girl, the lament of the ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... am going to marry a girl. Now hold your tongue," for the Intellectual Half bounded in his chair. "You have left me very little power of speech. Let me try to explain what I—I want to say." He spoke painfully and slowly. "Let me—try—I have lost, bit by bit, almost everything. I don't want to read—I can't play any more. I don't care about anything much. But this girl I do care about. I have always loved her, and you—you with your deuced intellect—cannot kill that part of me. Be quiet—let me try to think. She loves me, too. She loves me for myself, ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... every hint, and bit by bit his resolution was formed. Milton, going by one Monday morning on his way to the seminary, stopped beside the fence where Brad was plowing and waited for him to come up. He had a ...
— A Spoil of Office - A Story of the Modern West • Hamlin Garland

... I felt strong again I began to think about the sketch. It was some time before I could plan it to suit me. You see, it is not very pleasant to write all about one's self. At last, however, I got something bit by bit that Teacher thought would do, and I set about putting the scraps together, which was not an easy task: for, although I worked some on it every day, I did not finish it until a week ago Saturday. I sent the sketch to the Companion as soon as ...
— Story of My Life • Helen Keller

... Bit by bit the porter drifted back and gave Hubert his form, now stamped and become his ticket. The porter having finished with him, he passed on and, after many wanderings, found the door of the room where his sentence would be passed. Bracing himself up and clearing his throat, he prepared ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, May 30, 1917 • Various

... drink tea out of tin pannikins. The notion of getting such wages in a place with such surroundings quite dumb-founded me; and he had the things too; for by-and-by I found napery and china in a big chest that I used for a table out of doors; and bit by bit I made great improvements at Barragong. He gave me one of the huts for myself, and I was a thought frightened to sleep there my leafu' lane at first, but I put my trust in my Maker, and He watched over me. I cooked in my own hut, and settled up the master's. He began to think that a boarded floor ...
— Mr. Hogarth's Will • Catherine Helen Spence

... Then, bit by bit, it all came back to me, like returning circulation in a numbed limb; but as yet dreamily, as something long ago and far away. Then I found myself partly risen, leaning on my elbow, and looking about—into nothingness. Then feeling seemed slowly ...
— Pieces of Eight • Richard le Gallienne

... the hirsute monsters retreat; not scared-like, but with a show of defiance, as if disposed to contest possession of the place. They give back, however, bit by bit, till at length, ceasing to dispute, they shuffle off over the quarter, and on ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... bit by bit, the enormous weight of the ocean depths. When the city was finally reached, not only would it be ensured against sudden destruction but the Quabos themselves would have become accustomed to the difference in pressure. Had they gone immediately from the accustomed ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 • Various

... us pretty hard to see the old place sold, if it comes to that, when I hoped to end my days here . . . but, man, it's our fate. Bit by bit we 've lost Drumtochty, till there were just the woods and the two farms left, and soon we 'll be out of the place—nothing left but ...
— Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers • Ian Maclaren

... is introduction to the windows of Chartres, but these three churches open another conundrum as one learns, bit by bit, a few of the questions to be asked of the forgotten Middle Ages. The church towers at Mantes are very interesting, inside and out; they are evidently studied with love and labour by their designer; yet they have no fleches. ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... Then, bit by bit, and unwillingly, and mainly in answers to my questions, she told a tale that made my heart bound within me. This is the mere skeleton of it, for I have no skill to give body and soul to ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... the battle told of the troops on Freyberg's left being held up, and that between him and them ran, roughly parallel with the line of advance, a spur which cut off the effect of the enemy's machine guns. After fourteen hours of fighting, bit by bit, the sea-dog soldiers had plunged through a mile of trenches and ground sorely marked by shells. Three machine guns then were pushed forward well beyond that line, and the still unsatisfied sailor-colonel, his shoulder and ...
— Some Naval Yarns • Mordaunt Hall

... the indulgence of literary and scientific tastes. — VIDEBAMUS: for the tense cf. Lael. 37 Gracchum rem publicam vexantem ab amicis derelictum videbamus, i.e. 'we saw over a considerable period'. See also 50, 79. — IN STUDIO etc.: 'busied with the task of almost measuring bit by bit (di-metiendi) the heavens and the earth'. For the sense cf. Hor. Od. 1, 28 (of Archytas). — GALLUM: consul in 157 B.C., famous as an astronomer and as the first Roman who predicted an eclipse before the battle of ...
— Cato Maior de Senectute • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... thanked un; but I don't know what to say about it now, and this time of year and all, just when the new grist would be coming in. If t' Squire would 'a thought of it in June, now. But things is contrary—a'most allays so." After this speech, which was made in a low, droning voice, bit by bit, the miller took himself off ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... ill-conditioned way; sustained to the life, for the hope of making Mr Pecksniff suffer in that tender place, the pocket, where Jonas smarted so terribly himself, gave him an additional and malicious interest in the wiles he was set on to practise; inch by inch, and bit by bit, Jonas rather allowed the dazzling prospects of the Anglo-Bengalee establishment to escape him, than paraded them before his greedy listener. And in the same niggardly spirit, he left Mr Pecksniff to infer, if he chose (which ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... Bit by bit the plan was perfected. Mr. Thurston took a sudden interest in his orphan wards to the extent of writing to the school where they were attending and asking when it closed for the summer. When he was ...
— The Camp Fire Girls at School • Hildegard G. Frey

... in the first stages of his journey, and that had gone hard with Mellin. Europe had been his goal so long, and his hopes of pleasure grew so high when (after his years of saving and putting by, bit by bit, out of his salary in a real-estate office) he drew actually near the shining horizon. But London, his first stopping-place, had given him some dreadful days. He knew nobody, and had not understood how heavily sheer loneliness—which was something he had never felt until ...
— His Own People • Booth Tarkington

... of that osprey nest he had discovered. You know the old trick some South Sea islanders practice when climbing cocoanut trees is to have a loop around the trunk and their own body, then barefooted hoist themselves bit by bit, always raising ...
— The Outdoor Chums at Cabin Point - or The Golden Cup Mystery • Quincy Allen

... Bit by bit it was all coming out, the cruel and sordid drama played before an audience of housemaids, as one admission led to another and her strength revived for the ordeal. Lawrence shuddered and sat silent, trying to gauge the extent of the mischief. "What can I do?" ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... was going forward. After weeks of study and investigation, Montague felt that he had the matter well in hand; and he had taken Mr. Hasbrook's memoranda as a basis for a new work of his own, much more substantial. Bit by bit; as he dug into the subject, he had discovered a state of affairs in the Fidelity Company, and, indeed, in the whole insurance business and its allied realms of banking and finance, which shocked him profoundly. It was impossible for him to ...
— The Metropolis • Upton Sinclair

... be frank with me, and tell me what you owe? I will give you a cheque for it. I don't want to drag it out of you bit by bit. Tell me a sum that will make you free, and I will give it to you. I want you to have a perfect six months, and how can you if you ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 2 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... besides. Into his ears came the first faint rumors of things astir, and he began to work on the almost impalpable scent. Silently he worked, craftily, without arousing suspicion in the minds of those he questioned. Bit by bit, fragment by fragment, he gathered the makings of a Story, until at last, on the Saturday morning before the fateful Wednesday, he happened into the office of Silas Osgood and gained the ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... don't see each other often," the old fairy woman had said. "You flit in like, and flit away again as if you was a butterfly, I think sometimes when I'm sitting here alone. When you come to stay you're mostly flitting about the wood and I only see you bit by bit. But I couldn't tell you, Miss, my dear, what it's like to me. You do love the wood, don't you? It's a fairy place too—same ...
— Robin • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... very soon he grew so interested that he turned his chair round and kept eying my supper-card to find out who I was, and at last remembered seeing me in 'The New Boy'—and a rotten part it was, too—but he remembered it, and he told me to go on and tell him more about your play. So I recited it, bit by bit, and he laughed in all the right places and got very much excited, and said finally that he would read it the first thing this morning." Marion paused, breathlessly. "Oh, yes, and he wrote your address on his cuff," she added, with the air of delivering a ...
— The Lion and the Unicorn and Other Stories • Richard Harding Davis

... the men, especially the high castes, often have a beautifully designed sicca leaf running from the chest towards one shoulder, which probably has some religious significance. The women often have their whole body, arms and legs, covered with tattooing, as if with fine lace. The operation is done bit by bit, some one part being treated every few days. The colour used is the rosin of a nut-tree precipitated on a cool stone and mixed with the juice of a plant; the pattern is drawn on the skin with a stick, and then traced with ...
— Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific • Felix Speiser

... bit by bit, each came to know and understand the other under the influence of new lights and feelings. But their thoughts about themselves, and their joy at meeting in such peculiar circumstances, had to be repressed to some extent in the presence of their ...
— Charlie to the Rescue • R.M. Ballantyne

... quivered and receded like those subaqueous depths divined through the crystalline waves, depths with awful forests of huge plants, swarming with horrible things and monsters faintly espied. However, the watery mist was quickly falling. It became at last no more than a fine muslin drapery; and bit by bit this muslin vanished, and Paris took shape ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... invited him to write a comic opera for the Carnival, which invitation the boy joyfully accepted, and at once set to work on the none too easy task. He was now at home again, and his father and Nannerl listened eagerly to his themes, as bit by bit he elaborated them. ...
— Ten Boys from History • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... compilation of measurements, documents and probabilities; what is generally a mere pretext for a solid article in a heavy journal—or at best a question of pasting photographs together in the order the artist intended—Crocker converted into an eager and most practical pursuit. Bit by bit he gradually reconstituted his Crivelli in its ancient glory of enamel on gold within its ornate mouldings. The quest prospered capitally until he stuck hopelessly at the missing St. Michael. As it stood for a couple of years complete except for the void where the ...
— The Collectors • Frank Jewett Mather

... years ago, it was found out that there were trout in these streams above falls which would be absolutely impassable to any fish. How could they get there? It was a riddle. The only possible answer was that the fish must be older than the falls, that the stream had worn away its bed, bit by bit, until an impassable barrier from below had been created, but that the trout had gone on in the upper creeks, developing in their own way, for ...
— The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... content merely to stray from Suma's side only to return at her summons or when the odds were against him. Self-reliance came to him bit by bit. He learned that mastery in the wilderness depended largely upon a game of bluff—especially when cornered, and on one occasion when a fox, far larger than he, advanced menacingly he charged straight at it with a ...
— The Black Phantom • Leo Edward Miller

... enough out there, he felt as if his eyesight would be purged and clarified, as if his hearing would grow more delicate, and his very breath would come and go with luxury. He was transplanted and withering where he was; he lay in a strange country and was sick for home. Bit by bit, he pieced together broken notions of the world below: of the river, ever moving and growing until it sailed forth into the majestic ocean; of the cities, full of brisk and beautiful people, playing fountains, bands of music and marble palaces, and lighted up at night ...
— The Merry Men - and Other Tales and Fables • Robert Louis Stevenson

... havoc with the charges upon which we had all been brought into the station, and instead of feeling like criminals we all sat around and talked as if we were perfectly at home in a police station. The facts I am telling you somewhat in order all came out bit by bit and sometimes everybody talked at once, so it would be useless to try to put it down just ...
— The Campfire Girls Go Motoring • Hildegard G. Frey

... by a long chalk! The rain had made the boughs mighty slippery, and it was all I could do to keep a foothold, but bit by bit I managed it, until at last there I was ...
— The Secret Adversary • Agatha Christie

... instruments; their wings cross one another and give a fine pattern of colour. In the pendentives are seated figures of the four Evangelists. These were all worked, not from the back as is usual, but from the face, and each was fixed on the vault bit by bit. ...
— A History of Giggleswick School - From its Foundation 1499 to 1912 • Edward Allen Bell

... a large, desultory sort of house, nowhere more than three floors high, and mostly only two. It had been added to bit by bit, till it zigzagged about its site, as Sir James Norris expressed it, "like a game of dominoes." Hewitt scrutinized its external features carefully as they strolled around, and stopped some little while before the windows of the two bed-rooms ...
— Martin Hewitt, Investigator • Arthur Morrison

... America emerging from the mist of ages in the sixteenth century, so now in the seventeenth we have the great Island Continent of Australia mysteriously appearing bit by bit out of the yet little-known Sea of the South. There is little doubt that both Portuguese and Spanish had touched on the western coast early in the sixteenth century, but gave no information about it beyond sketching certain rough and undefined ...
— A Book of Discovery - The History of the World's Exploration, From the Earliest - Times to the Finding of the South Pole • Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge

... believe it is best to know the worst at once. It is terrible to have it falling drop by drop. You have courage and strength; I see it. Take an old man's word for it, it is better to know all in its naked ugliness, than have it brought to light bit by bit. There is not the shadow of a doubt of Roland's crime. You do not ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton



Words linked to "Bit by bit" :   in stages, little by little, step by step



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