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acerbic

[uh-sur-bik]
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adjective
  1. sour or astringent in taste: Lemon juice is acerbic.
  2. harsh or severe, as of temper or expression: acerbic criticism.

Origin of acerbic

1860–65; < Latin acerb(us) sour, unripe, bitterly harsh + -ic, irregular for -ous
Related formsa·cer·bi·cal·ly, adverbun·a·cer·bic, adjectiveun·a·cer·bi·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedacerbic acid acrid
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for acerbic

acerbic

adjective
  1. harsh, bitter, or astringent; sour

Word Origin

C17: from Latin acerbus sour, bitter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for acerbic

adj.

1865, originally, and usually, figurative: "sour, harsh, severe" (of speech, manners, etc.), from Latin acerbus "harsh to the taste, sharp, bitter, sour" (see acerbity) + -ic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper