Meaning of BITTER in English
I. bit ‧ ter 1 S3 W3 /ˈbɪtə $ -ər/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: biter ]
1 . feeling angry, jealous, and upset because you think you have been treated unfairly ⇨ bitterly
I feel very bitter about 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.
4 . having a strong sharp taste, like black coffee without sugar ⇨ sour, sweet :
Enjoy the beer’s bitter taste as you slowly drink it.
5 . 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]
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)
▪ a bitter battle/dispute
There was a bitter battle over the building of the new airport.
▪ a bitter fight/struggle
The law was passed after a bitter fight that lasted nearly a decade.
▪ a bitter conflict
The stage is set for a bitter conflict with trade unions.
▪ a bitter debate/argument
The country now faces a bitter debate over the issue.
▪ bitter disagreement
There were reports of bitter disagreement between the European Communities.
▪ bitter opposition
The new tax aroused bitter opposition.
▪ a bitter rival/enemy (=a rival/enemy who you have strong feelings of dislike or anger about)
The two men are bitter rivals for the party leadership.
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▪ bitter having a strong sharp taste that is not sweet, like black coffee without sugar - used especially about chocolate, medicine etc:
The dessert is made with a slightly bitter chocolate.
Hops give beer its distinctive bitter taste.
The medicine tasted bitter.
As the lettuce gets older, the leaves become more bitter.
▪ sharp having a taste that makes your tongue sting slightly:
Rhubarb has quite a sharp taste.
The cheese has a pleasing colour and a pleasantly sharp flavour.
▪ sour having a usually unpleasant sharp acid taste, like the taste of a lemon, or a fruit that is not ready to be eaten – used especially about fruit, or about liquids that have gone bad:
Some people say that the purpose of the lemon’s sour taste is to stop the fruit being eaten by animals.
Rachel sampled the wine. It was sour.
▪ acidic very sour – used especially about liquids or things made with fruits such as oranges, lemons, or grapes:
Some fruit juices taste a bit acidic.
▪ tangy having a taste that is pleasantly strong or sharp, and that often tastes a little sweet as well:
The ribs are cooked in a tangy barbecue sauce.
▪ tart having a taste that lacks sweetness – used especially about fruit such as apples, which you need to add sugar to:
The pudding had rather a tart flavour.
The trees were covered with tart wild plums.
II. bitter 2 BrE AmE noun
1 . [uncountable and countable] British English a type of dark beer that is popular in Britain, or a glass of this:
A pint of bitter, please.
2 . bitters [uncountable] a strong bitter liquid made from plants that is added to alcoholic drinks
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012