Bittern meaning

bĭtərn
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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.
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The bitter water solution of bromides, magnesium, and calcium salts remaining after sodium chloride is crystallized out of seawater.
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Any of a subfamily (Botaurinae) of wading birds, including a genus (Botaurus) noted for the resounding, thumping call of the male.
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The bitter liquid left after the crystallization of salt from brine.
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Several bird species in the heron family Ardeidae.
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One species tending to have a relatively short neck in comparison with the other members of the family.
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The liquor remaining after halite (common salt) has been harvested from saline water (brine).
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(archaic) A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.

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Origin of bittern

  • Alteration (perhaps influenced by tern) of Middle English bitour from Old French butor possibly from Vulgar Latin buti-taurus Latin būtiō buzzard Latin taurus bull (after its cry) tauro- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From bitter

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Old French butor, from Gallo-Roman *butitaurus, a blend of Latin būtiō (“bittern”) and taurus (“bull, ox”).

    From Wiktionary

  • From bitter with an unclear suffix, perhaps a dialect form of -ing.

    From Wiktionary