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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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Examples from the web for bittersweet
  • As a professor, attending graduation ceremonies and parties is always a bittersweet experience for me.
  • He made it his theme tune, adapting its originally bittersweet words to the needs of the time.
  • Uncover the bittersweet story of this ancient treat.
  • Fill peanut-butter cookies with bittersweet chocolate, caramel sauce, and marshmallow.
  • There was a bittersweet feeling among fans who are watching the last film in the series.
  • Yes, saying goodbye to a cherished leader can be a bittersweet experience.
  • It is no longer enough to understand the difference between milk and bittersweet.
  • Having one's paranoia confirmed is kind of bittersweet.
  • We will remember times spent with our friend with bittersweet memories.
  • But the experts haven't yet learned how to treat the disease effectively, so the breakthrough is bittersweet for the two sisters.
British Dictionary definitions for bittersweet

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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for 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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