acer·​bi·​ty | \ ə-ˈsər-bə-tē How to pronounce acerbity (audio) , a- \
plural acerbities

Definition of acerbity

: the quality of being acerbic

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Examples of acerbity in a Sentence

the customer made his displeasure known with more acerbity than was necessary
Recent Examples on the Web The Academy Awards for the movies of 1988 were awash in bluntness, cruelty and acerbity. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Uncouth, Cranky and Rude: Movies in 1988 Were a Far Cry From Today," 2 Oct. 2020 There is, however, something respectable and clarifying about its commitment to acerbity. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "RIP, Laika: Space Dogs Will Break Your Heart," 7 Sep. 2020 Overly harsh with citrus, the fish was like an Italianate ceviche, and its acerbity drowned the satiny, subtle panna cotta. Kate Washington, sacbee, "If Allora can learn to relax a little, it will be one of the city's best restaurants | The Sacramento Bee," 11 May 2018 By now Dimon is nearly iconic in his acerbity and general spikiness. Daniel Gross, Slate Magazine, "Jamie Dimon Is Fed Up With No One in Particular," 17 July 2017 And yet another worried about the prospect of a boycott of their companies’ products depending on the acerbity of their words. Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times, "Frantic Phoning Among C.E.O.s: How to Address Trump Ban?," 30 Jan. 2017 Its emotional harshness and quasi-confessional acerbity is radically untimely—and therefore enduring. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Highlights from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival," 25 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acerbity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acerbity

1572, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acerbity

borrowed from Middle French acerbité, borrowed from Latin acerbitāt-, acerbitās, from acerbus "sour, bitter" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at acerb

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Time Traveler for acerbity

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The first known use of acerbity was in 1572

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Acerbity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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