climbing bittersweet

bittersweet

[adjective bit-er-sweet, bit-er-sweet; noun bit-er-sweet]
adjective
  1. both bitter and sweet to the taste: bittersweet chocolate.
  2. both pleasant and painful or regretful: a bittersweet memory.
noun
  1. 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.
  2. Also called climbing bittersweet. any climbing plant of the genus Celastrus, bearing orange capsules opening to expose red-coated seeds, especially C. scandens.
  3. 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 formsbit·ter·sweet·ly, adverbbit·ter·sweet·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for climbing-bittersweet

bittersweet

noun
  1. 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
  2. another name for woody nightshade
adjective
  1. tasting of or being a mixture of bitterness and sweetness
  2. 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

Word Origin and History for climbing-bittersweet

bittersweet

also bitter-sweet, late 14c. as a noun; used especially in Middle English of a type of apple, from bitter (adj.) + sweet (adj.). As an adjective, attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper