bittersweet

[ adjective bit-er-sweet, bit-er-sweet; noun bit-er-sweet ]
/ adjective ˌbɪt ərˈswit, ˈbɪt ərˌswit; noun ˈbɪt ərˌswit /

adjective

both bitter and sweet to the taste: bittersweet chocolate.
both pleasant and painful or regretful: a bittersweet memory.

noun

Also called woody nightshade. a climbing or trailing plant, Solanum dulcamara, of the nightshade family, having small, violet, star-shaped flowers with a protruding yellow center and scarlet berries.
Also called climbing bittersweet. any climbing plant of the genus Celastrus, bearing orange capsules opening to expose red-coated seeds, especially C. scandens.
pleasure mingled with pain or regret: the bittersweet of parting.

Origin of bittersweet

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at bitter, sweet

Related forms

bit·ter·sweet·ly, adverbbit·ter·sweet·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bittersweet

British Dictionary definitions for bittersweet

bittersweet

/ (ˈbɪtəˌswiːt) /

noun

any of several North American woody climbing plants of the genus Celastrus, esp C. scandens, having orange capsules that open to expose scarlet-coated seeds: family Celastraceae
another name for woody nightshade

adjective

tasting of or being a mixture of bitterness and sweetness
pleasant but tinged with sadness
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