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acerbity

[uh-sur-bi-tee] /əˈsɜr bɪ ti/
noun
1.
sourness, with roughness or astringency of taste.
2.
harshness or severity, as of temper or expression.
Origin
1565-1575
1565-75; < Latin acerbitās. See acerbic, -ity
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for acerbity
  • The benevolence and public spirit of that long life had only been equalled by its acerbity.
  • It's a strange experience to read a critic best known for extreme acerbity writing about a subject he loves.
British Dictionary definitions for acerbity

acerbity

/əˈsɜːbɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
vitriolic or embittered speech, temper, etc
2.
sourness or bitterness of taste
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
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Word Origin and History for acerbity
n.

1570s, from Middle French acerbité, from Latin acerbitatem (nominative acerbitas) "harshness, sharpness, bitterness," from acerbus "bitter to taste, sharp, sour, tart" (related to acer "sharp;" cf. Latin superbus "haughty," from super "above"), from Proto-Italic *akro-po- "sharp," from PIE *ak- "sharp" (see acrid). Earliest use in English is figurative, of "sharp and bitter" persons. Of tastes, from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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