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bitter

[bit-er] /ˈbɪt ər/
adjective, bitterer, bitterest.
1.
having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.
2.
producing one of the four basic taste sensations; not sour, sweet, or salt.
3.
hard to bear; grievous; distressful:
a bitter sorrow.
4.
causing pain; piercing; stinging:
a bitter chill.
5.
characterized by intense antagonism or hostility:
bitter hatred.
6.
hard to admit or accept:
a bitter lesson.
7.
resentful or cynical:
bitter words.
noun
8.
that which is bitter; bitterness:
Learn to take the bitter with the sweet.
9.
British. a very dry ale having a strong taste of hops.
verb (used with object)
10.
to make bitter:
herbs employed to bitter vermouth.
adverb
11.
extremely; very; exceedingly:
a bitter cold night.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English, Old English biter; cognate with German bitter, Old Norse bitr, Gothic baitrs; akin to bite
Related forms
bitterish, adjective
bitterly, adverb
bitterness, noun
nonbitter, adjective
overbitter, adjective
overbitterly, adverb
overbitterness, noun
unbitter, adjective
Can be confused
bidder, bitter.
Synonyms
1. acrid, biting, distasteful. 3. distressing, poignant, painful. 4. biting, nipping. 5. fierce, cruel, ruthless, relentless. 7. acrimonious, caustic, sardonic, scornful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bitterly
  • Americans are bitterly divided about whether technology is good or bad, whether it elevates our lives or corrodes our values.
  • Within clans there are family subclans, often bitterly divided against each other.
  • So she sat down on a ridge and began to weep, and so bitterly that two streams ran down from her eyes.
  • And the reasons for that, while complex, lie in the bitterly contested politics of technological innovation.
  • He was even bitterly condemned for having taken his own life.
  • They will fight bitterly with colleagues of their own rank about who should be first author on jointly authored publications.
  • But still one wonders how he expects to get the nomination from a party so bitterly opposed to that view.
  • Two half brothers each claimed the ancient crown, and the family split into two bitterly feuding factions.
  • But the area is bitterly contested by many armed groups battling over territory teeming with mineral riches.
  • Her parents were bitterly opposed to the romance because of his marital status, and the couple had lived largely apart.
British Dictionary definitions for bitterly

bitter

/ˈbɪtə/
adjective
1.
having or denoting an unpalatable harsh taste, as the peel of an orange or coffee dregs Compare sour (sense 1)
2.
showing or caused by strong unrelenting hostility or resentment he was still bitter about the divorce
3.
difficult or unpleasant to accept or admit a bitter blow
4.
cutting; sarcastic bitter words
5.
bitingly cold a bitter night
adverb
6.
very; extremely (esp in the phrase bitter cold)
noun
7.
a thing that is bitter
8.
(Brit) beer with a high hop content, with a slightly bitter taste
verb
9.
to make or become bitter
See also bitters
Derived Forms
bitterly, adverb
bitterness, noun
Word Origin
Old English biter; related to bītan to bite
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 bitterly
bitter
O.E. biter "bitter, sharp, cutting, angry, cruel, embittered," from P.Gmc. *bitras- (cf. O.S. bitar, O.N. bitr, Du. bitter, O.H.G. bittar, Ger. bitter, Goth. baitrs "bitter"), from PIE base *bheid- "to split" (cf. O.E. bitan "bite;" see bite). Evidently the meaning drifted in prehistoric times from "biting, of pungent taste," to "acrid-tasting." Used figuratively in O.E. of states of mind and words. Phrase to the bitter end is attested from 1849. Related: Bitterly.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bitterly in the Bible

Bitterness is symbolical of affliction, misery, and servitude (Ex. 1:14; Ruth 1:20; Jer. 9:15). The Chaldeans are called the "bitter and hasty nation" (Hab. 1:6). The "gall of bitterness" expresses a state of great wickedness (Acts 8:23). A "root of bitterness" is a wicked person or a dangerous sin (Heb. 12:15). The Passover was to be eaten with "bitter herbs" (Ex. 12:8; Num. 9:11). The kind of herbs so designated is not known. Probably they were any bitter herbs obtainable at the place and time when the Passover was celebrated. They represented the severity of the servitude under which the people groaned; and have been regarded also as typical of the sufferings of Christ.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with bitterly
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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