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 ?
* SIR - The knowledge that a pounds 10,000 donation was accepted by Huw Lewis, Merthyr's AM, towards his leadership campaign in December 2009, from Mr Bernard Llewellyn, an arch supporter of Miller Argent and their Ffos-y-Fran opencast scheme is a bitter pill to swallow for those opposing the scheme, but perhaps not surprising ("Mine-link man gave Labour minister's election fund pounds 10k", May 3).
Marcus Hurd, head of corporate solutions at Aon Consulting, said: "This will be a bitter pill to swallow to companies who are already piling in billions of pounds to plug these deficits."
BIRKENHEAD Park coach Shaun Gallagher admits his side's 22-21 defeat at Stockport was a bitter pill to swallow.
Manager Darren Ryan admitted the midweek penalty shootout defeat against Neath in the Loosemores Cup was a bitter pill to swallow, and wants a determined reaction.
'This is well-paid work the local economy can't afford to lose and is deeply disappointing considering the workforce met and exceeded all the firm's targets - it's global chess and a bitter pill to swallow.
It was a bitter pill to swallow last year in losing out by one point to Sweden, especially the manner of the defeat, and we want to make up for that disappointment by going that one step further in winning the World Cup.
"We have lost a match and while it is a bitter pill to swallow I have told the players not to feel sorry for themselves.
Derry manager Kevin Mahon admits that their recent 2-1 home defeat by Bray was a bitter pill to swallow and may well have dented their title hopes beyond repair.
"Unfortunately, the cuts we've had to make in getting rid of the pros was a difficult decision and 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.
"The bitter pill to swallow and the bitter pillwe'regoingtobecarryingforthenextweek is that third goal, which I thought was very unnecessary."
But Chudleigh is no stranger to tense battles as in his coaching career he has already had the bitter pill to swallow when he was in charge at Orrell in their last season in the National League before going out of existence.
He added: "To lose a game like that after 120 minutes is a bitter pill to swallow but a huge compliment should go to the team for what they have achieved and the character they have shown.
He's a real gentleman and this bug, which has caused him to shut down, has been a real bitter pill to swallow for him.
RUGBY Borough Council Labour group leader Alan Webb described the news as a "bitter pill to swallow".