9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[adj. bit-er-sweet, bit-er-sweet; n. bit-er-sweet] /adj. ˌbɪt ərˈswit, ˈbɪt ərˌswit; n. ˈbɪt ərˌswit/
both bitter and sweet to the taste:
bittersweet chocolate.
both pleasant and painful or regretful:
a bittersweet memory.
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.
Also called climbing bittersweet. any climbing plant of the genus Celastrus, bearing orange capsules opening to expose red-coated seeds, especially C. scandens.
pleasure mingled with pain or regret:
the bittersweet of parting.
Origin of bittersweet
1350-1400; Middle English; see bitter, sweet
Related forms
bittersweetly, adverb
bittersweetness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
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


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
another name for woody nightshade
tasting of or being a mixture of bitterness and sweetness
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bittersweet

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bittersweet

Scrabble Words With Friends