Denotation vs. Connotation


[em-bit-er] /ɛmˈbɪt ər/
verb (used with object)
to make bitter; cause to feel bitterness:
Failure has embittered him.
to make bitter or more bitter in taste.
Also, imbitter.
Origin of embitter
1595-1605; em-1 + bitter
Related forms
embitterer, noun
embitterment, noun
unembittered, adjective
1. sour, rankle, envenom. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for embitter
Historical Examples
  • He must be clothed with meekness from Heaven, or the provocations of the people will be apt to embitter his spirit.

  • He has had much to embitter him,' he murmured, and straightway fainted again.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The red man of the forest and the prairie has had much to embitter his spirit against his enemies; but I will proceed.

  • What would this be but to embitter his reflections needlessly.

  • They are all alike and it is nonsense to embitter one's life jumping from one to another.

    The Blood of the Arena Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • I care not what turn the thing may take; I 'll not embitter my life with this reflection.'

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • These people will embitter him against me, so long as they have any ground to go upon.'

    In the Year of Jubilee George Gissing
  • Reflect that you may gladden and beautify your lives, or embitter them, according as you now act.

    The Home Fredrika Bremer
  • You see, signor, he has denied his nationality, and that of itself will embitter the national feeling against him.'

    The Romance Of Giovanni Calvotti David Christie Murray
  • I embitter your life, and you make—perhaps you cannot make mine happy.

    The Home Fredrika Bremer
British Dictionary definitions for embitter


verb (transitive)
to make (a person) resentful or bitter
to aggravate (an already hostile feeling, difficult situation, etc)
Derived Forms
embittered, adjective
embitterer, noun
embitterment, noun
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 embitter

c.1600, from em- + bitter. Now rare in its literal sense; figurative meaning first attested 1630s. Related: Embittered.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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