nounpl. -·terns or -·tern
any of a subfamily (Botaurinae) of wading birds, including a genus (Botaurus) noted for the resounding, thumping call of the male
Origin of bitternMiddle English bitor from Old French butor from Vulgar Latin an unverified form butitaurus from Classical Latin butio, bittern ( from echoic base an unverified form bu-) + taurus, small bird that imitates the lowing of oxen, literally , bull: see steer
the bitter liquid left after the crystallization of salt from brine
Origin of bitternprobably from dialect, dialectal bittering from bitter + -ing
Any of several wading birds of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus, having mottled brownish plumage and, in most species, a deep booming cry in the male.
Origin of bitternAlteration (perhaps influenced by tern 1) of Middle English bitour from Old French butor possibly from Vulgar Latin buti-taurus Latin būtiō buzzard Latin taurus bull (after its cry) ; see tauro- in Indo-European roots.
The bitter water solution of bromides, magnesium, and calcium salts remaining after sodium chloride is crystallized out of seawater.
Origin of bitternFrom bitter
From bitter with an unclear suffix, perhaps a dialect form of -ing.