1. Having a peculiar, acrid, biting taste, like that of wormwood or an infusion of hops; as, a bitter medicine; bitter as aloes.

2. Causing pain or smart; piercing; painful; sharp; severe; as, a bitter cold day.

3. Causing, or fitted to cause, pain or distress to the mind; calamitous; poignant. "It is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God." (Jer. Ii. 19)

4. Characterised by sharpness, severity, or cruelty; harsh; stern; virulent; as, bitter reproach. "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." (Col. Iii. 19)

5. Mournful; sad; distressing; painful; pitiable. "The Egyptians . . . Made their lives bitter with hard bondage." (Ex. I. 14) Bitter apple, Bitter cucumber, Bitter gourd.

<botany> A name given to two European leguminous herbs, Vicia Orobus and Ervum Ervilia. To the bitter end, to the last extremity, however calamitous.

Synonyms: Acrid, sharp, harsh, pungent, stinging, cutting, severe, acrimonious.

Origin: AS. Biter; akin to Goth. Baitrs, Icel. Bitr, Dan, Sw, D, & G. Bitter, OS. Bittar, fr. Root of E. Bite. See Bite.

(01 Mar 1998)

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