bitters

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bit·ter

 (bĭt′ər)
adj. bit·ter·er, bit·ter·est
1. Having or being a taste that is sharp, acrid, and unpleasant.
2. Causing a sharply unpleasant, painful, or stinging sensation; harsh: enveloped in bitter cold; a bitter wind.
3. Difficult or distasteful to accept, admit, or bear: the bitter truth; bitter sorrow.
4. Proceeding from or exhibiting strong animosity: a bitter struggle; bitter foes.
5. Resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish, or disappointment: cried bitter tears.
6. Marked by resentment or cynicism: "He was already a bitter elderly man with a gray face" (John Dos Passos).
adv.
In an intense or harsh way; bitterly: a bitter cold night.
tr.v. bit·tered, bit·ter·ing, bit·ters
To make bitter.
n.
1. That which is bitter: "all words ... / Failing to give the bitter of the sweet" (Tennyson).
2. bitters A bitter, usually alcoholic liquid made with herbs or roots and used in cocktails or as a tonic.
3. Chiefly British A sharp-tasting beer made with hops.

[Middle English, from Old English; see bheid- in Indo-European roots.]

bit′ter·ly adv.
bit′ter·ness n.
Synonyms: bitter, acerbic, acrid
These adjectives mean unpleasantly sharp or pungent in taste or smell: a bitter cough syrup; a cheap, acerbic wine; acrid smoke.

bitters

(ˈbɪtəz)
pl n
1. (Brewing) bitter-tasting spirits of varying alcoholic content flavoured with plant extracts
2. (Pharmacology) a similar liquid containing a bitter-tasting substance, used as a tonic to stimulate the appetite or improve digestion

bit•ters

(ˈbɪt ərz)

n. (used with a pl. v.)
1. a usu. alcoholic liquor flavored with bitter herbs and used in mixed drinks or as a tonic.
2.
a. a usu. alcoholic liquid impregnated with a bitter medicine, as gentian or quassia, used to increase the appetite or as a tonic.
b. bitter medicinal substances in general, as quinine.
[1705–15]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bitters - alcoholic liquor flavored with bitter herbs and roots
booze, hard drink, hard liquor, John Barleycorn, liquor, spirits, strong drink - an alcoholic beverage that is distilled rather than fermented
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