a bitter pill


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a bitter pill

An unwanted or unpleasant situation that someone is forced to accept. A shortening of the phrase, "a bitter pill 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, but it made me a better worker.
See also: bitter, pill

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

a bitter pill to swallow

or

a bitter pill

COMMON If a fact or a situation is a bitter pill to swallow or a bitter pill, it is difficult or unpleasant to accept. Their chief executive said the failure to win the contract was a bitter pill to swallow. I'm not going to tell you this is not a bitter pill for the armed forces, because clearly it is. Note: You can say that someone swallows a bitter pill if they have to accept something difficult or unpleasant. Our people have swallowed a bitter pill in accepting this peace agreement.
See also: bitter, pill, swallow

a bitter pill (to swallow)

an unpleasant or painful necessity (to accept).
1996 European The move, while not entirely unexpected, has been a bitter pill to swallow.
See also: bitter, pill

a bitter ˈpill (for somebody) (to swallow)

a thing that is very difficult or unpleasant to accept: He was a proud man, so having to ask for money must have been a bitter pill to swallow.
See also: bitter, pill
References in periodicals archive ?
It's a bitter pill to swallow, especially as you know the quality of the batsmen.
Liverpool won the derby three nil Giving Everton a bitter pill Stevie G Scored all three Stevie Gerrard is a folk hero As all Liverpool fans know With Kenny Dalglish in charge Up the Premier League they should now march Liverpool have a dream To be England's number one team Of the derby game David Moyes said we only had ourselves to blame Jubilant Liverpool fans Clapped in appreciation with their hands Liverpool now aim for a Premier League top four As they want to enter Europe's top draw Are Liverpool now up?
The scientists said that considering the sugary taste of cyclodextrin, naringenin, the cause of the bitter taste in grapefruit, is "no longer such a bitter pill to swallow.
SIR - Nick Clegg and David Cameron's rollicking dance of love and friendship makes good headlines and photo opportunities; but for those of us who hoped that the Liberals would act with integrity against the arms trade, against nuclear weapons, and against the war in Afghanistan it is a bitter pill to swallow.
TOUGH TO TAKE Matt Prior has admitted his axeing was a bitter pill to swallow
The FA Cup defeat is a bitter pill to swallow but we must now resurrect our season.
It's a bitter pill to swallow but it's important that we regroup now and don't let it affect us too much.
Although we were able to greatly minimize the negative consequences for our members there, the closure is still a bitter pill to swallow.
It was a bitter pill for visiting manager Rob Cooke to swallow after seeing his side's challenge evaporate after Darren Lyons was sent off in normal time.
For innocent victims, paying money to relatives of paramilitaries might be a bitter pill.
Such prudence may be admirable but it is a bitter pill for those of uswho feel they could spend it so much better.
Farmers, already concerned at the impact one fewer buyer will have if Safeway is snapped up by one of the other major players, should take heed of what is proving a bitter pill for pharmacists to swallow.