• synonyms


See more synonyms for acerbic on Thesaurus.com
  1. sour or astringent in taste: Lemon juice is acerbic.
  2. harsh or severe, as of temper or expression: acerbic criticism.
Show More

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

Related Words for acerbic

sharp, harsh, caustic, acidic, acrid, astringent, tart

Examples from the Web for acerbic

Contemporary Examples of acerbic

British Dictionary definitions for acerbic


  1. harsh, bitter, or astringent; sour
Show More

Word Origin for acerbic

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


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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper