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having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.
producing one of the four basic taste sensations; not sour, sweet, or salt.
hard to bear; grievous; distressful:
a bitter sorrow.
causing pain; piercing; stinging:
a bitter chill.
characterized by intense antagonism or hostility:
bitter hatred.
hard to admit or accept:
a bitter lesson.
resentful or cynical:
bitter words.
that which is bitter; bitterness:
Learn to take the bitter with the sweet.
British. a very dry ale having a strong taste of hops.
to make bitter:
herbs employed to bitter vermouth.
extremely; very; exceedingly:
a bitter cold night.
Contemporary Examples

Somalia Famine Aid Stolen: U.N. August 12, 2011
The Greatest Football Player That Never Was Buzz Bissinger February 9, 2011
Fiscal Cliff Hostage Situation Day 14: The Thelma & Louise Caucus Daniel Gross November 20, 2012
Suicide at The Globe Alex S. Jones June 9, 2009
Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up Tom Boswell September 26, 2014

Historical Examples

O Pioneers! Willa Cather
Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
Curiosities of Impecuniosity H. G. Somerville
The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
A Bride of the Plains Baroness Emmuska Orczy

having or denoting an unpalatable harsh taste, as the peel of an orange or coffee dregs Compare sour (sense 1)
showing or caused by strong unrelenting hostility or resentment: he was still bitter about the divorce
difficult or unpleasant to accept or admit: a bitter blow
cutting; sarcastic: bitter words
bitingly cold: a bitter night
very; extremely (esp in the phrase bitter cold)
a thing that is bitter
(Brit) beer with a high hop content, with a slightly bitter taste
to make or become bitter

bitter end
bitter pill to swallow


Read Also:

  • Bitter-almond

    See under almond (def 1). the nutlike kernel of the fruit of either of two trees, Prunus dulcis (sweet almond) or P. dulcis amara (bitter almond) which grow in warm temperate regions. the tree itself. a delicate, pale tan. anything shaped like an almond, especially an ornament. of the color, taste, or shape of an […]

  • Bitter–almond–oil

    almond oil (def 2). Historical Examples Poisons: Their Effects and Detection Alexander Wynter Blyth

  • Bitter-apple

    colocynth (defs 1, 2). noun another name for colocynth

  • Bitterbrush

    an evergreen shrub, Purshia tridentata, of western North America, having bitter three-toothed leaves and yellow flowers, valuable for forage. Historical Examples The Thirst Quenchers Rick Raphael Comparative Ecology of Pinyon Mice and Deer Mice in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado Charles L. Douglas

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