Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: biter

bitter

1 adjective
     
Related topics: Tastes, Nature
bit‧ter1 S3 W3
1 feeling angry, jealous, and upset because you think you have been treated unfairly [↪ bitterly]
bitter about
I feel very bitter it.
a bitter old man
2 [only before noun] making you feel very unhappy and upset [↪ bitterly]
a bitter disappointment/blow
If he failed, it would be a bitter disappointment to his parents.
His photo stirred up bitter memories.
from bitter experience (=because of your own very unpleasant experiences)
She knew from bitter experience that it would be impossible to talk it over with Julian.
3 a bitter argument, battle etc is one in which people oppose or criticize each other with strong feelings of hate and anger
bitter dispute/battle/struggle etc
The couple are locked in a bitter battle for custody of the children.
The government faces bitter opposition to these policies.
The countries are still bitter enemies.
4CT having a sharp strong taste like black coffee without sugar [↪ sour; sweet]:
Enjoy the beer's bitter taste as you slowly drink it.
bitter chocolate
5DN unpleasantly cold [↪ bitterly]:
a bitter wind
the bitter cold of the Midwestern winters
6

to the bitter end

continuing until the end, even though this is difficult:
Employees have vowed to fight the closure to the bitter end.
7

a bitter pill (to swallow)

something very unpleasant that you must accept:
The knowledge that his friends no longer trusted him was a bitter pill to swallow.
bitterness noun [uncountable]
WORD FOCUS: taste WORD FOCUS: taste
delicious/tasty tastes very good
disgusting
tastes very bad
hot
/spicy has a lot of spices
bland
boring and with not very much taste
sweet
has a lot of sugar
salty
has a lot of salt
sour
used about fruit that is not sweet
bitter
used about coffee, chocolate, or medicine that is not at all sweet
taste

See also
taste

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary