verb (used with object)

to make bitter; cause to feel bitterness: Failure has embittered him.
to make bitter or more bitter in taste.

Also imbitter.

Origin of embitter

First recorded in 1595–1605; em-1 + bitter
Related formsem·bit·ter·er, nounem·bit·ter·ment, nounun·em·bit·tered, adjective

Synonyms for embitter

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for embitter

Historical Examples of embitter

  • He has had much to embitter him,' he murmured, and straightway fainted again.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • What would this be but to embitter his reflections needlessly.

  • I care not what turn the thing may take; I 'll not embitter my life with this reflection.'

    Jack Hinton

    Charles James Lever

  • Lorand did not wish to embitter the poor girl by laughing in her face at her simplicity.

    Debts of Honor

    Maurus Jkai

  • And I will embitter thy life, and poison it, first: and then I will take it away.

British Dictionary definitions for embitter


verb (tr)

to make (a person) resentful or bitter
to aggravate (an already hostile feeling, difficult situation, etc)
Derived Formsembittered, adjectiveembitterer, nounembitterment, noun
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 embitter

c.1600, from em- + bitter. Now rare in its literal sense; figurative meaning first attested 1630s. Related: Embittered.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper