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bittersweet

[adj. bit-er-sweet, bit-er-sweet; n. bit-er-sweet] /adj. ˌbɪt ərˈswit, ˈbɪt ərˌswit; n. ˈbɪt ərˌswit/
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
1350-1400; Middle English; see bitter, sweet
Related forms
bittersweetly, adverb
bittersweetness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bitter-sweet

bittersweet

/ˈbɪtəˌswiːt/
noun
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
adjective
3.
tasting of or being a mixture of bitterness and sweetness
4.
pleasant but tinged with sadness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for bitter-sweet

bittersweet

also bitter-sweet, late 14c. as a noun; used especially in Middle English of a type of apple, from bitter (adj.) + sweet (adj.). As an adjective, attested from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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