[ uh-sur-bi-tee ]
/ əˈsɜr bɪ ti /


sourness, with roughness or astringency of taste.
harshness or severity, as of temper or expression.

Origin of acerbity

From the Latin word acerbitās, dating back to 1565–75. See acerbic, -ity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acerbity

British Dictionary definitions for acerbity


/ (əˈsɜːbɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

vitriolic or embittered speech, temper, etc
sourness or bitterness of taste
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 acerbity



1570s, from Middle French acerbité, from Latin acerbitatem (nominative acerbitas) "harshness, sharpness, bitterness," from acerbus "bitter to taste, sharp, sour, tart" (related to acer "sharp;" cf. Latin superbus "haughty," from super "above"), from Proto-Italic *akro-po- "sharp," from PIE *ak- "sharp" (see acrid). Earliest use in English is figurative, of "sharp and bitter" persons. Of tastes, from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper