WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
bit•ter /ˈbɪtɚ/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. having a harsh taste;
    not sour, sweet, or salty:bitter herbs.
  2. [before a noun] hard to bear: a bitter sorrow.
  3. [before a noun] causing pain: a bitter chill.
  4. characterized by hostility:bitter enemies.
  5. [before a noun] experienced at great cost: a bitter lesson.

n. [uncountable]
  1. WineBrit. an ale that tastes bitter because it is made with hops:two pints of your best bitter.
bit•ter•ly, adv.: a bitterly cold night.
bit•ter•ness, n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
bit•ter  (bitər),USA pronunciation adj.,  -er, -est, n., v., adv. 
  1. having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.
  2. Physiologyproducing one of the four basic taste sensations;
    not sour, sweet, or salt.
  3. hard to bear;
    distressful:a bitter sorrow.
  4. causing pain;
    stinging:a bitter chill.
  5. characterized by intense antagonism or hostility:bitter hatred.
  6. hard to admit or accept:a bitter lesson.
  7. resentful or cynical:bitter words.

  1. that which is bitter;
    bitterness:Learn to take the bitter with the sweet.
  2. [Brit.]a very dry ale having a strong taste of hops.

  1. to make bitter:herbs employed to bitter vermouth.

  1. extremely;
    exceedingly:a bitter cold night.
bitter•ish, adj. 
bitter•ly, adv. 
bitter•ness, n. 
  • 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
  1. having or denoting an unpalatable harsh taste, as the peel of an orange or coffee dregs
    Compare sour
  2. showing or caused by strong unrelenting hostility or resentment
  3. difficult or unpleasant to accept or admit: a bitter blow
  4. cutting; sarcastic: bitter words
  5. bitingly cold: a bitter night
  1. very; extremely (esp in the phrase bitter cold)
  1. a thing that is bitter
  2. Brit beer with a high hop content, with a slightly bitter taste
Etymology: Old English biter; related to bītan to bite

ˈbitterly adv ˈbitterness n

'bitter' also found in these entries:

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