bitter pill to swallow

a bitter pill to swallow

An unwanted or unpleasant situation that someone is forced to accept. A pronoun for the person in such a situation can be mentioned between "pill" and "to," as in "a bitter pill for her to swallow." When Brett's parents stopped giving him money to pay his bills and told him to get a job, it was a bitter pill for him to swallow. Getting a poor performance review was a bitter pill to swallow, but it made me a better worker.
See also: bitter, pill, swallow

bitter pill to swallow

Fig. an unpleasant fact that has to be accepted. (Does not involve pills or swallowing.) It was a bitter pill for her brother to swallow when she married his enemy. We found his deception a bitter pill to swallow.
See also: bitter, pill, swallow

bitter pill to swallow

An unpleasant fact, disappointment, or humiliation that is difficult to endure. For example, Failing the bar exam was a bitter pill to swallow, but he plans to try again next year . [Late 1500s]
See also: bitter, pill, swallow
References in periodicals archive ?
Losing at Old Trafford is always a bitter pill to swallow.
Swinney said: "The cut of PS107million is substantially lower than the UK Government's original estimate but this still too bitter pill to swallow.
But that's a bitter pill to swallow, and AMs have their work cut out if it is to be sweetened in any way.
Many drivers would have found that a bitter pill to swallow, yet no sooner had the race ended than Rosberg was sportingly congratulating Hamilton.
He sacrificed his marriage for the job, so redundancy is a bitter pill to swallow.
gp y ive to their s - and that a bitter pill to But taking points off City would hand the title initiative to their hated rivals - and that would be a bitter pill to swallow.
Gh Juve, will have to settle for Europa League football in the new year, a bitter pill to swallow for the Italian champions.
Manager Burnett admitted that defeat was a bitter pill to swallow.
WIGAN 2 S'HAMPTON 2 SOUTHAMPTON striker Rickie Lambert described Shaun Maloney's late equaliser as a bitter pill to swallow after the Saints had to settle for a point against Wigan.
Sydney, Nov 20( ANI ): South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel has said claiming the wickets of Australian batsmen Ed Cowan and Michael Clarke on no ball deliveries in the drawn Gabba Test was a bitter pill to swallow.
Breaking up is hard to do, but hearing your hubby has held a torch for his current girl for years is a bitter pill to swallow, even if you are a movie star.
We're used to walking off the pitch, having inflicted the sort of defeat they inflicted upon us - so it was a very bitter pill to swallow.
Richard Weaver, capital markets partner at PwC, said: "It's a bitter pill to swallow for companies to be told that the value of their business has fallen dramatically from their initial valuation.
FOR a nation with as proud a sporting heritage as Australia, heavy defeat is a bitter pill to swallow.
After all the uproar over MPs' expenses, it makes even more of a bitter pill to swallow.