Bitter Definition. What does Bitter mean?


Bitter Definition

Have you tasted bitter beer or bitter food? Humans may taste at least 5 flavors such as sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. Bitter foods have a sharp, pungent taste or smell. They can be toxic or have beneficial effects on health.

Bitter is an adjective and it doesn’t only describe food or drinks but also people. Bitter people are angry, hurt, or resentful because of their bad experiences or a sense of unfair treatment. Have a look at the following examples:

  • I always eat vegetables, but I can’t really eat bitter guard because it’s too bitter for me.
  • She said she didn’t feel bitter when she knew you are dating someone else.

For British people, bitter is a style of pale ale beer that varies in color from gold to dark amber and its strength is 3% to 7% alcohol. There are different types of bitter beer according to their alcohol content such as light ale, session or ordinary, best or special, premium or strong and golden ale.


Rhea: Hi Lyn, do you have plans for the weekend? We are planning to throw a surprise party for Ronald. It’s his 30th birthday.

Lyn: I would love to come to the party, but are you inviting Carlos? I don’t want to see him.

Rhea: I think he’ll be there. I thought you are not bitter of his promotion. I heard you will also get promoted soon.

Lyn: I didn’t feel bitter when I knew he got the promotion. It’s just that I think he made me bitter when he kept teasing me that I was overly serious, so I can’t be the manager of our department.

Rhea: I understand how you feel. Carlos can be a real jerk sometimes. But, you can come to the party and show him that you didn’t remain bitter, and you are perfectly OK with it.

Lyn: You’re right. I guess, I will come. I’ll buy Ronald a present soon. 

Rhea: Great! See you on Saturday night.


Feel bitter

Seem bitter

Become bitter

Grow bitter

Turn bitter

Remain bitter

Leave (somebody) bitter

Make (somebody) bitter

Extremely bitter

Very bitter

Quite bitter

Rather bitter

Slightly bitter

Somewhat bitter

Related phrasal verbs: 

Feel miserable about: to feel very sad about something.

  • She felt miserable about her husband’s infidelity.

Frown at: to disapprove of something.

  • Her mother frowned at her career choice.

Rail against: to complain about something by speaking openly and loudly about it.

  • The people are railing against the new traffic law.

Show antipathy towards: to show a strong feeling of dislike or hostility towards someone of something.

  • The employees have always spoken of their antipathy towards the new policy.

Come out against: to defy laws or rules; to resist something or someone.

  • The rebels have come out against the new president.

Object to: to disapprove someone or something.

  • I strongly object to your ideas.

Look askance at: to regard something in a disapproving or distrustful manner.

  • Many people look askance at our new boss, but I think he is a great leader.

Related idioms:

till/until/to the bitter end: this is used to refer to the completion or conclusion of something, even though it may be difficult, unpleasant, or take a long time to reach.

  • We should do our best in this game until the bitter end.

a bitter pill (to swallow): this refers to an unwanted or unpleasant situation that someone must accept.

  • Failing the licensure exam was a bitter pill to swallow.

be bitter and twisted: when we say someone is bitter and twisted, it means that they are miserable typically because of past traumas or problems.

  • She has been bitter and twisted since she didn’t get the promotion she had hoped for.

the bitter fruits: this refers to the negative results or consequences of something.

  • She didn’t listen to her doctor’s advice and her health issues now are the bitter fruits.

take the bitter with sweets: when we say we must take the bitter with the sweets, it means that we have to accept the good and the bad things that may happen because they are very important.

  • When you get married, you must take the bitter with the sweet.

Shed bitter tears: to mourn or lament for something.

  • She shed bitter tears when she found out that her house had been robbed.

Synonyms (other ways to say):




















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