- The definition of bitter is having a harsh and disagreeable taste or something that is hard to bear.
- An example of bitter is the taste of an aspirin.
- An example of bitter is very cold weather.
- Bitter is defined as the quality of being harsh.
An example of bitter is weather with cold, wet wind.
Aspirin has a bitter taste.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- designating or having a sharp, often unpleasant taste; acrid, as quinine or peach stones
- causing or showing sorrow, discomfort, or pain; grievous
- sharp and disagreeable; harsh; severe; piercing: a bitter wind
- characterized by strong feelings of hatred, resentment, cynicism, etc.
Origin: Middle English ; from Old English biter, akin to bītan, bite
- in a way that is bitter; bitterly
- extremely: it was bitter cold
- a bitter quality or thing: take the bitter with the sweet
- Brit. bitter, strongly hopped ale
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
adjective bit·ter·er, bit·ter·est
- Having or being a taste that is sharp, acrid, and unpleasant.
- Causing a sharply unpleasant, painful, or stinging sensation; harsh: enveloped in bitter cold; a bitter wind.
- Difficult or distasteful to accept, admit, or bear: the bitter truth; bitter sorrow.
- Proceeding from or exhibiting strong animosity: a bitter struggle; bitter foes.
- Resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish, or disappointment: cried bitter tears.
- Marked by resentment or cynicism: “He was already a bitter elderly man with a gray face” (John Dos Passos).
- That which is bitter: “all words . . . /Failing to give the bitter of the sweet” (Tennyson).
- bitters A bitter, usually alcoholic liquid made with herbs or roots and used in cocktails or as a tonic.
- Chiefly British A sharp-tasting beer made with hops.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.
- bitˈter·ly adverb
- bitˈter·ness noun