1

bitter

adjective bit·ter \ ˈbi-tər \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of bitter

1 a :being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is peculiarly acrid acrid, astringent, or disagreeable and suggestive of an infusion of hops
  • The pill leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
  • a bitter beer
  • bitter dark chocolate
— compare salt, sour, sweet
b :distasteful or distressing to the mind :galling
  • a bitter sense of shame
2 :marked by intensity or severity:
a :accompanied by severe pain or suffering
  • a bitter death
b :being relentlessly determined :vehement
  • a bitter partisan
c :exhibiting intense animosity
  • bitter enemies
d (1) :harshly reproachful
  • bitter complaints
(2) :marked by cynicism and rancor
  • bitter contempt
  • was still bitter about not being chosen
e :intensely unpleasant especially in coldness or rawness
  • a bitter wind
3 :caused by or expressive of severe pain, grief, or regret
  • bitter tears

bitterish

play \ˈbi-tə-rish\ adjective

bitterly

adverb

bitterness

noun

Examples of bitter in a Sentence

  1. Cocoa beans have a bitter flavor.

  2. The medicine had a bitter aftertaste.

  3. We were struck by the bitter irony of the situation.

  4. His betrayal had made her bitter.

  5. She was still bitter toward her ex-husband.

  6. He's the bitterest man I know.

Recent Examples of bitter from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of bitter

Middle English, going back to Old English biter, going back to Germanic *bitra- (whence Old Saxon & Old High German bittar "acrid-tasting," Old Norse bitr "biting, sharp") and *baitra- (whence Gothic baitrs "sharp-tasting"), derivatives from the base of *bītan- "to bite" — more at 1bite

2

bitter

noun

Definition of bitter

1 :bitter (see 1bitter) quality
2 a bitters plural :a usually alcoholic solution of bitter and often aromatic plant products used especially in preparing mixed drinks or as a mild tonic (see 1tonic 1b)
b British :a very dry (see 1dry 7b) heavily hopped ale

Examples of bitter in a Sentence

  1. The cocktail recipe called for a dash of bitters.

  2. a good selection of bitters

Recent Examples of bitter from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of bitter

derivative of 1bitter

Other Alcoholic Beverage Terms


3

bitter

verb

Definition of bitter

transitive verb
:to make bitter (see 1bitter)
  • bittered ale

Recent Examples of bitter from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of bitter

Middle English bittrin, going back to Old English biterian, derivative of biter 1bitter

Other Alcoholic Beverage Terms


4

bitter

adverb

Definition of bitter

:to an intense or severe degree :to a bitter (see 1bitter) degree
  • It's bitter cold.

Origin and Etymology of bitter

Middle English bitter, bittere, going back to Old English bitere, derivative of biter 1bitter


BITTER Defined for English Language Learners

bitter

adjective

Definition of bitter for English Language Learners

  • : having a strong and often unpleasant flavor that is the opposite of sweet

  • : causing painful emotions : felt or experienced in a strong and unpleasant way

  • : angry and unhappy because of unfair treatment


bitter

noun

Definition of bitter for English Language Learners

  • bit*ters : a bitter alcoholic liquid that is used especially in mixed drinks

  • : a type of beer that has a slightly bitter flavor


BITTER Defined for Kids

bitter

adjective bit·ter \ ˈbi-tər \

Definition of bitter for Students

bitterer; bitterest
1 :sharp, biting, and unpleasant to the taste
2 :unhappy and angry because of unfair treatment
  • She was bitter toward her spoiled sister.
3 :hard to put up with
  • a bitter disappointment
4 :caused by anger, distress, or sorrow
  • bitter tears
5 :very harsh or sharp :biting
  • a bitter wind

bitterly

adverb
  • wept bitterly

bitterness

noun

Medical Dictionary

bitter

adjective bit·ter \ ˈbit-ər \

medical Definition of bitter

:being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is peculiarly acrid, astringent, or disagreeable and suggestive of an infusion of hops — compare salt 2, sour, sweet

bitterness

noun


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