Definition of bitter adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbɪtə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbɪtər//
    more bitter and most bitter are the usual comparative and superlative forms, but bitterest can also be used. Unhappiness, Anger, Taste of food
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  1. 1  (of arguments, disagreements, etc.) very serious and unpleasant, with a lot of anger and hatred involved a long and bitter dispute
  2. 2  (of people) feeling angry and unhappy because you feel that you have been treated unfairly She is very bitter about losing her job. See related entries: Unhappiness, Anger
  3. 3  [usually before noun] making you feel very unhappy; caused by great unhappiness to weep/shed bitter tears Losing the match was a bitter disappointment for the team. I've learnt from bitter experience not to trust what he says.
  4. 4  (of food, etc.) having a strong, unpleasant taste; not sweet Black coffee leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Synonymsbitterpungent sour acrid sharp acidThese words all describe a strong, unpleasant taste or smell.bitter (of a taste or smell) strong and usually unpleasant; (of food or drink) having a bitter taste.pungent (of a smell or taste) strong and usually unpleasant; (of food or smoke) having a pungent smell or taste:the pungent smell of burning rubbersour (of a taste) bitter like the taste of a lemon or of fruit that is not ripe; (of food or drink) having a sour taste:Too much pulp produces a sour wine.acrid (of a smell or taste) strong and unpleasant; (of smoke) having an acrid smell:acrid smoke from burning tyressharp (of a taste or smell) strong and slightly bitter; (of food or drink) having a sharp taste:The cheese has a distinctively sharp taste.acid (of a taste or smell) bitter, like the taste of a lemon or of fruit that is not ripe; (of food or drink) having an acid taste.which word? A bitter taste is usually unpleasant, but some people enjoy the bitter flavour of coffee or chocolate. No other word can describe this flavour. A sharp or pungent flavour is more strong than unpleasant, especially when describing cheese. Sharp, sour and acid all describe the taste of a lemon or a fruit that is not ripe. An acrid smell is strong and unpleasant, especially the smell of smoke or burning, but not the smell of food.Patterns a(n) bitter/​pungent/​sour/​acrid/​sharp/​acid taste/​flavour a(n) bitter/​pungent/​acrid/​sharp/​acid smell/​odour a(n) bitter/​sour/​sharp/​acid fruit pungent/​sharp cheese pungent/​acrid smoke compare sweet Wordfinderbitter, bland, hot, pungent, savoury, sour, spicy, sweet, tart, taste See related entries: Taste of food
  5. 5  (of weather conditions) extremely cold and unpleasant bitter cold a bitter wind It's really bitter out today.
  6. Word OriginOld English biter, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German bitter, and probably to bite.Extra examples I felt very bitter towards them. Loving relationships can turn bitter. She still seems bitter about it. The divorce had left her bitter. The drink tasted bitter. The weather turned bitter. He is very bitter about losing his job. It’s really bitter out today. She bit her lip hard to stop the rush of bitter words. She stepped out into a bitter wind. The whole sorry affair had left a bitter taste in her mouth. They are locked in a bitter custody battle over their three children. They had no protection against the bitter cold. This plant is ignored by livestock because of the bitter taste. bitter coffee/​chocolateIdioms
    a bitter pill (for somebody) (to swallow)
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    a fact or an event that is unpleasant and difficult to accept The election defeat was a bitter pill for the party to swallow.
    to/until the bitter end
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    continuing until you have done everything you can, or until something is completely finished, despite difficulties and problems They were prepared to fight to the bitter end for their rights.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bitter

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