adjective, bit·ter·er, bit·ter·est.
verb (used with object)
- bitter almond,
- bitter almond oil,
- bitter apple,
- bitter cassava,
- bitter cress
Origin of bitter
Examples from the Web for bitterness
But while his departure was “inexpressibly painful,” he never succumbed to bitterness.
Perhaps some of that solitude and bitterness found its way into Alec Leamas.The Stacks: How The Berlin Wall Inspired John le Carré’s First Masterpiece|John le Carré|November 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A U.S. diplomat once spoke with bitterness of the breadth of his power when negotiating with an uncooperative dictator.This Is Obama’s U.N. Plan to Choke Off ISIS’s Recruits|Kimberly Dozier|September 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
KIEV, Ukraine — The symbol of the Ukrainian revolution, the Maidan Square, is seething with bitterness and aggression these days.Kiev Set to Clean the Last “Occupy” Protestors Out of Maidan Square|Anna Nemtsova|August 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“Some day, the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way,” he wrote in Grapes.
The English merchants and mariners had wrongs of their own, perpetually renewed, which fed the bitterness of their indignation.English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century|James Anthony Froude
Then he saw that she was crying in the bitterness of vexation, and swung round on his music-stool without getting up.The Nebuly Coat|John Meade Falkner
Miriam spoke unguardedly, but Evie was too preoccupied to notice the bitterness of the tone.The Wild Olive|Basil King
There was a dash of bitterness in this, which was a rare ingredient in Mara's conversation.The Pearl of Orr's Island|Harriet Beecher Stowe
The war was resumed with increase of bitterness in feeling, and of fury in action.Their Majesties' Servants (Volume 3 of 3)|John Doran
Word Origin for bitter
Old English biternys "bitterness, grief;" see bitter + -ness. Figurative sense (of feelings, etc.) is attested earlier than literal sense (of taste), which will surprise no one who reads any amount of Anglo-Saxon literature.
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.
In addition to the idioms beginning with bitter
- bitter end
- bitter pill to swallow
- take the bitter with the sweet