- having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.
- producing one of the four basic taste sensations; not sour, sweet, or salt.
- hard to bear; grievous; distressful: a bitter sorrow.
- causing pain; piercing; stinging: a bitter chill.
- characterized by intense antagonism or hostility: bitter hatred.
- hard to admit or accept: a bitter lesson.
- resentful or cynical: bitter words.
- that which is bitter; bitterness: Learn to take the bitter with the sweet.
- British. a very dry ale having a strong taste of hops.
- to make bitter: herbs employed to bitter vermouth.
- extremely; very; exceedingly: a bitter cold night.
Origin of bitter
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bitterly
The one and indivisible capital of Israel has not been this bitterly divided since 1967.Mass Murder in the Holy City
November 18, 2014
ISIS and al Qaeda bitterly split earlier this year, and have since attacked one another on occasions.Al Qaeda Plotters in Syria ‘Went Dark,’ U.S. Spies Say
September 24, 2014
A bitterly partisan public discourse also developed in 18th-century England.How the News Business Found Its Footing
June 22, 2014
Officials are bitterly divided over two diametrically opposed strategies.Inspectors Uncover UK Schools Pushing Radical Islamic Agendas
June 10, 2014
A decision the government would come to bitterly regret over the coming decades.
Bitterly he recalled the stain upon his family in generations gone by.Weighed and Wanting
Still, he was ignorant—and none realized it more keenly and bitterly than did Chip.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
"Religion hain't to be found in drum-sticks," sez he bitterly.Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 6.
Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
The captain felt it bitterly, as was evident from his manner.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
But the day was bitterly cold, and the exposure cost him his life.Heroes of the Telegraph
- having or denoting an unpalatable harsh taste, as the peel of an orange or coffee dregsCompare sour (def. 1)
- showing or caused by strong unrelenting hostility or resentmenthe was still bitter about the divorce
- difficult or unpleasant to accept or admita bitter blow
- cutting; sarcasticbitter words
- bitingly colda bitter night
- very; extremely (esp in the phrase bitter cold)
- a thing that is bitter
- British beer with a high hop content, with a slightly bitter taste
- to make or become bitter
Word Origin and History for bitterly
Old English biter "bitter, sharp, cutting; angry, embittered; cruel," from Proto-Germanic *bitras- (cf. Old Saxon bittar, Old Norse bitr, Dutch bitter, Old High German bittar, German bitter, Gothic baitrs "bitter"), from PIE root *bheid- "to split" (cf. Old English bitan "to bite;" see bite (v.)). Evidently the meaning drifted in prehistoric times from "biting, of pungent taste," to "acrid-tasting." Used figuratively in Old English of states of mind and words. Related: Bitterly.