- 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 for bitter on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bitterest
After all, Iran was the “bitterest enemy” of the Islamic State.Iran Says It’s Under Attack by ISIS
Jassem Al Salami
October 9, 2014
Few [who saw the play] realized that this was the bitterest and most meaningful lesson.Brecht's Mercenary Mother Courage Turns 75
September 10, 2014
Of course, Don ends up betraying Ms. Farrell in one of the bitterest scenes in Mad Men history.Every Woman Don Draper’s Hooked Up With on ‘Mad Men’
April 13, 2014
It is difficult for non-combatants to understand how the bitterest of enemies can become friends.A Very Good War
March 10, 2010
The bitterest hour that I have known, was that in which you fell, and I beheld your fall.
Long, and with the bitterest feelings, he awaited her return; she came not.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
It was a nauseous draught from the bitterest waters of Islam.The Scapegoat
It was the bitterest pill of all, but John swallowed it, and stepped into the house.The Christian
I think the bitterest part of my grief was that nobody could ever know.The Woman Thou Gavest Me
- 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 bitterest
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.
Idioms and Phrases with bitterest
In addition to the idioms beginning with bitter
- bitter end
- bitter pill to swallow
- take the bitter with the sweet