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1540s, "quality of being acrid," from Middle French acrimonie or directly from Latin acrimonia "sharpness, pungency of taste," figuratively "acrimony, severity, energy," from acer "sharp" (fem. acris, neuter acre; see acrid) + -monia suffix of action, state, condition. Figurative extension to "sharpness of temper" is first recorded 1610s.