Bitter-sweet

bittersweet

[adj. bit-er-sweet, bit-er-sweet; n. 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
3.
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.
4.
Also called climbing bittersweet. any climbing plant of the genus Celastrus, bearing orange capsules opening to expose red-coated seeds, especially C. scandens.
5.
pleasure mingled with pain or regret: the bittersweet of parting.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English; see bitter, sweet

bittersweetly, adverb
bittersweetness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bittersweet (ˈbɪtəˌswiːt)
 
n
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
 
adj
3.  tasting of or being a mixture of bitterness and sweetness
4.  pleasant but tinged with sadness

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

bittersweet
late 14c., as a noun; used especially in M.E. of a type of apple, from bitter + sweet. As an adjective, attested from 1610s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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