adjective, bitterer, bitterest.
having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.
producing one of the four basic taste sensations; not sour, sweet, or salt.
hard to bear; grievous; distressful: a bitter sorrow.
causing pain; piercing; stinging: a bitter chill.
characterized by intense antagonism or hostility: bitter hatred.
hard to admit or accept: a bitter lesson.
resentful or cynical: bitter words.
that which is bitter; bitterness: Learn to take the bitter with the sweet.
British. a very dry ale having a strong taste of hops.
verb (used with object)
to make bitter: herbs employed to bitter vermouth.
extremely; very; exceedingly: a bitter cold night.

before 1000; Middle English, Old English biter; cognate with German bitter, Old Norse bitr, Gothic baitrs; akin to bite

bitterish, adjective
bitterly, adverb
bitterness, noun
nonbitter, adjective
overbitter, adjective
overbitterly, adverb
overbitterness, noun
unbitter, adjective

bidder, bitter.

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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World English Dictionary
bitter (ˈbɪtə)
1.  Compare sour having or denoting an unpalatable harsh taste, as the peel of an orange or coffee dregs
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
6.  very; extremely (esp in the phrase bitter cold)
7.  a thing that is bitter
8.  (Brit) beer with a high hop content, with a slightly bitter taste
9.  to make or become bitter
[Old English biter; related to bītan to bite]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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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Bible Dictionary

Bitter definition

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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