1

bittersweet

noun bit·ter·sweet \ ˈbi-tər-ˌswēt \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of bittersweet

1 :something that is bittersweet; especially :pleasure accompanied by suffering or regret
  • … the bittersweet of their long separation …
  • —Christopher Morley
2 botany
a :a poisonous Eurasian woody vine (Solanum dulcamara) of the nightshade family that has purple flowers and oval reddish berries and is naturalized (see naturalize 4) in North America
b :a North American poisonous woody vine (Celastrus scandens) of the staff-tree family having clusters of small greenish flowers succeeded by yellow capsules (see 1capsule 2a) that open when ripe and disclose the scarlet aril

Recent Examples of bittersweet from the Web

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

First Known Use of bittersweet

14th century

Other Seed Plant Terms


2

bittersweet

adjective

Definition of bittersweet

1 :being at once bitter and sweet; especially :pleasant but including or marked by elements of suffering or regret
  • a bittersweet ballad
  • bittersweet memories
2 :of or relating to a prepared chocolate containing little sugar
  • bittersweet chocolate chips

bittersweetly

adverb

bittersweetness

noun

Recent Examples of bittersweet from the Web

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

First Known Use of bittersweet

1576


BITTERSWEET Defined for English Language Learners

bittersweet

adjective

Definition of bittersweet for English Language Learners

  • : having both bitter and sweet flavors

  • : combining sadness and happiness


BITTERSWEET Defined for Kids

1

bittersweet

noun bit·ter·sweet \ ˈbi-tər-ˌswēt \

Definition of bittersweet for Students

1 :a poisonous vine originally of Europe and Asia with purple flowers and red berries
2 :a poisonous North American woody climbing plant with orange seed capsules that open when ripe to reveal red seeds

2

bittersweet

adjective

Definition of bittersweet for Students

:being partly bitter or sad and partly sweet or happy
  • He had bittersweet memories of summer camp.

Medical Dictionary

bittersweet

noun bit·ter·sweet \ ˈbit-ər-ˌswēt, ˌbit-ər-ˈ \

medical Definition of bittersweet

:a sprawling poisonous weedy nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) with purple flowers and oval reddish orange berries that is the source of dulcamara


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