WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
bit•ter /ˈbɪtɚ/USA pronunciation
adj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
- having a harsh taste;
not sour, sweet, or salty:bitter herbs.
- [before a noun] hard to bear: a bitter sorrow.
- [before a noun] causing pain: a bitter chill.
- characterized by hostility:bitter enemies.
- [before a noun] experienced at great cost: a bitter lesson.
bit•ter•ly, adv.: a bitterly cold night.
bit•ter•ness, n. [uncountable]
- WineBrit. an ale that tastes bitter because it is made with hops:two pints of your best bitter.
(bit′ər),USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est, n., v., adv. adj.
- having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.
- Physiologyproducing one of the four basic taste sensations;
not sour, sweet, or salt.
- hard to bear;
distressful:a bitter sorrow.
- causing pain;
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.
- [Brit.]a very dry ale having a strong taste of hops.
- to make bitter:herbs employed to bitter vermouth.
exceedingly:a bitter cold night.
- bef. 1000; Middle English, Old English biter; cognate with German bitter, Old Norse bitr, Gothic baitrs; akin to bite
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged acrid, biting, distasteful.
- 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged distressing, poignant, painful.
- 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged biting, nipping.
- 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged fierce, cruel, ruthless, relentless.
- 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged acrimonious, caustic, sardonic, scornful.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
bitter /ˈbɪtə/ adj
- having or denoting an unpalatable harsh taste, as the peel of an orange or coffee dregs
- showing or caused by strong unrelenting hostility or resentment
- 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)
Etymology: Old English biter; related to bītan to biteˈbitterly adv ˈbitterness n
- a thing that is bitter
- Brit beer with a high hop content, with a slightly bitter taste
'bitter' also found in these entries: