1

bittersweet

play
noun bit·ter·sweet \ˈbi-tər-ˌswēt\

Definition of bittersweet

  1. 1 :  something that is bittersweet; especially :  pleasure accompanied by suffering or regret … the bittersweet of their long separation … — Christopher Morley

  2. 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 Americab :  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 bit·ter·sweet

Definition of bittersweet

  1. 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. 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

play
noun bit·ter·sweet \ˈbi-tər-ˌswēt\

Definition of bittersweet for Students

  1. 1 :  a poisonous vine originally of Europe and Asia with purple flowers and red berries

  2. 2 :  a poisonous North American woody climbing plant with orange seed capsules that open when ripe to reveal red seeds


2

bittersweet

play
adjective bit·ter·sweet

Definition of bittersweet for Students

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


Medical Dictionary

bittersweet

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

Medical Definition of bittersweet

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bittersweet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to fight against or to call in question

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!