Dictionary > Bitter


1. Having a peculiar, acrid, biting taste, like that of wormwood or an infusion of hops; as, a bitter medicine; bitter as aloes.
2. Causing pain or smart; piercing; painful; sharp; severe; as, a bitter cold day.
3. Causing, or fitted to cause, pain or distress to the mind; calamitous; poignant. It is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the lord thy god. (Jer. Ii. 19)
4. Characterised by sharpness, severity, or cruelty; harsh; stern; virulent; as, bitter reproach. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. (col. Iii. 19)
5. Mournful; sad; distressing; painful; pitiable. The egyptians . . . Made their lives bitter with hard bondage. (ex. I. 14) bitter apple, bitter cucumber, bitter gourd.
(Science: botany) a name given to two European leguminous herbs, Vicia Orobus and Ervum Ervilia. To the bitter end, to the last extremity, however calamitous.
Synonym: acrid, sharp, harsh, pungent, stinging, cutting, severe, acrimonious.
Origin: as. Biter; akin to goth. Baitrs, Icel. Bitr, dan, Sw, D, & g. Bitter, os. Bittar, fr. Root of E. Bite. See bite.

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