Short for binary digit, the smallest unit of information on most digital computers. The term was first used in 1946 by John Tukey, a leading statistician and adviser to five presidents. A single bit can hold only one of two values: 0 or 1. More meaningful information is obtained by combining consecutive bits into larger units. For example, 8 consecutive bits is usually referred to as a "byte". (Half a byte, i.e., 4 bits, is usually called a nybble or nibble).