take the bitter with the sweet

Cultural Dictionary

Take the bitter with the sweet definition


Accept life's misfortunes as well as its joys.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

take the bitter with the sweet

Accept adversity as well as good fortune, as in Although he got the job, he hadn't counted on having to work with Matthew; he'll just have to take the bitter with the sweet. This idiom uses bitter for "bad" and sweet for "good," a usage dating from the late 1300s. It was first recorded in John Heywood's 1546 proverb collection. For a synonym, see take the rough with the smooth.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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