bitter

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till/until the bitter end

1. Until the point of completion or conclusion, even though it may be difficult, unpleasant, or take a long time to reach. Possibly of nautical origin, referring to the "bitts" on a dock to which a ship's ropes are moored. I'm not really enjoying this book, but I always make a point of sticking with a novel till the bitter end.
2. To the final or most critical extremity, such as death or total defeat. We might not have a chance of winning today, but we have to give it our all until the bitter end! My father stayed beside my dying mother's bed till the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end, till, until

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

be bitter and twisted

To be miserable, typically because of past traumas or problems. My sister is bitter and twisted after years in a bad relationship. Oh, she's been bitter and twisted ever since she found out she didn't make the team.
See also: and, bitter, twist

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

the bitter fruits

The negative consequences of something. The economy is in shambles, and unemployment and underemployment are the bitter fruits.
See also: bitter, fruit

to the bitter end

1. Until the point of completion or conclusion, even though it will likely be difficult, unpleasant, or take a long time to reach. Possibly of nautical origin, referring to the "bitts" on a dock to which a ship's ropes are moored. I'm not really enjoying this book, but I always make a point of sticking with a novel to the bitter end.
2. To the final or most critical extremity, such as death or total defeat. We might not have a chance of winning today, but we have to give it our all to the bitter end! My father stayed beside my dying mother's bed to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

the bitter end

1. The point of completion or conclusion, even though it may be difficult, unpleasant, or take a long time to reach. Possibly of nautical origin, referring to the "bitts" on a dock to which a ship's ropes are moored. I'm not really enjoying this book, but I always make a point of sticking with a novel till the bitter end.
2. The final or most critical extremity, such as death or total defeat. We might not have a chance of winning today, but we have to give it our all until the bitter end! My father stayed beside my dying mother's bed till the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

take the bitter with the sweet

To accept both the negative and positive aspects of something. The phrase is typically used in an acknowledgement that nothing is perfect. When it comes to this job, you have to take the bitter with the sweet. It's hard, but it's worth it. Anyone thinking marriage is bliss 24/7 is deluded, but you learn to take the bitter with the sweet, and if you married the right person, there's more sweet than bitter overall.
See also: bitter, sweet, take

the weed of crime bears bitter fruit

Illegal, immoral, or illicit schemes will only every yield bad outcomes. While sentencing the three CEOs following their conviction, the judge said he wanted to make it clear to the whole country that the weed of crime bears bitter fruits.
See also: bear, bitter, crime, fruit, of, weed

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

Take the bitter with the sweet.

Prov. Accept the bad things as well as the good things that happen. (Implies that the bad and good things you are talking about are very serious or important.) If you intend to get married, you must be prepared to take the bitter with the sweet.
See also: bitter, sweet, take

to the bitter end

 and till the bitter end
Fig. to the very end. (Originally nautical. This originally had nothing to do with bitterness.) I'll stay till the bitter end. It took me a long time to get through school, but I worked hard at it all the way to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

bitter end

The last extremity; also, death or ruin. For example, I'm supporting the union's demands to the bitter end, or Even though they fight a lot, I'm sure Mom and Dad will stay together to the bitter end . The source of this term may have been nautical, a bitter being a turn of a cable around posts, or bitts, on a ship's deck, and the bitter end meaning "the part of the cable that stays inboard." Thus, when a rope is paid out to the bitter end, no more remains. [Mid-1800s]
See also: bitter, end

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

take the bitter with the sweet

Accept adversity as well as good fortune, as in Although he got the job, he hadn't counted on having to work with Matthew; he'll just have to take the bitter with the sweet . This idiom uses bitter for "bad" and sweet for "good," a usage dating from the late 1300s. It was first recorded in John Heywood's 1546 proverb collection. For a synonym, see take the rough with the smooth.
See also: bitter, sweet, take

to the bitter end

If you do something to the bitter end, you continue doing it in a determined way until you finish it, even though it becomes increasingly difficult. Despite another crushing defeat, he is determined to see the job through to the bitter end. They must carry on their battle to the bitter end, not only to get a fair deal for themselves, but for the sake of all British business. Note: Sailors used to refer to the end of a rope or chain that was securely tied as `the bitter end'. Bitts were posts on the ship's deck and ropes would be tied to these to secure the ship in a harbour.
See also: bitter, end

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

to the bitter end

persevering to the end, whatever the outcome.
See also: bitter, end

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

to the bitter ˈend

right to the end, no matter how long it takes; until everything possible has been done: Now that we have begun this project, we must see it through to the bitter end.We are determined to fight to the bitter end.
See also: bitter, end

bitter end, (fight) to the

The last extremity, the conclusion of a tough battle or other difficult situation. The term comes from seamanship, where “the bitter end” is that part of the chain or anchor cable that is secured inside the vessel and is seldom used. It is so described in Captain Smith’s Seaman’s Grammar of 1627: “A bitter is but the turne of a Cable about the bitts, and veare it out by little and little. And the Bitter’s end is that part of the Cable doth stay within board.” It was sometimes spelled better; Daniel Defoe, in Robinson Crusoe (1719), described a terrible storm, saying, “We rode with two anchors ahead, and the cables veered out to the better end.” A much earlier version is found in Chaucer’s The Squire’s Tale: “They demen gladly to the badder ende” (translated by the Reverend Walter W. Skeat as “worse end”).
See also: bitter

bitter pill (to swallow)

Something that is painful or hard to accept, as in “Being fired from one’s first job is a bitter pill to swallow.” The term bitter pill has been used figuratively for an unpleasant situation or fact since the sixteenth century. Horace Walpole had the precise locution: “It was a bitter pill for the King to swallow” (Last Journals, 1779). On the other hand, the more philosophical view that bad-tasting medicine may be beneficial has existed alongside the cliché. “Bitter pills may have blessed effects” was recorded in James Kelly’s Scottish Proverbs (1721), and Thomas Fuller put it as “wholesome effects” in Gnomologia (1732).
See also: bitter, pill

take the bitter with the sweet

One must accept the bad along with the good. “For how might ever sweetness have be knowe to him that never tasted bitternesse?” asked Chaucer in Troilus and Criseyde. Poets have connected bitter and sweet ever since, and the concept also made its way into several collections of proverbs. See also the synonymous take the rough with the smooth.
See also: bitter, sweet, take

the weed of crime bears bitter fruit

No good will come from criminal schemes. The Shadow was a very popular radio detective series that began in the early 1930s. Its hero, playboy Lamont Cranston, had “the power to cloud men's minds,” a form of hypnosis by which he appeared off to the side of where people thought he stood (contrary to popular belief, the Shadow did not make himself invisible). After the credits at the end of every episode, the Shadow intoned, “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay! The Shadow knows,” and then utter a sardonic laugh. Another famous Shadow-ism was “Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men?—The Shadow knows!”
See also: bear, bitter, crime, fruit, of, weed
References in periodicals archive ?
While often dismissed as being no competition, even the large established BI vendors have come up with counter measures to address the challenges from the lower-cost competitors," said Bitterer.
"There is not a company on the planet that does not have a data quality problem," Bitterer said.
My experience, however, has been bitterer by virtue of the fact that I have done it with a pair of Garmin GNS 480s and an MX-20.
'The greater the weight [of constraint] is, the bitterer will be the satire.
Parker speculates that the pulping of Clarel in 1879 "must have been bitterer for Melville than many of the human deaths he had witnessed" and that the event bespoke "a willingness to be annihilated rather than to be hacked to pieces" (2: 840).
Als Stuck ist es wahre, grosse Freskomalerei; herrlich gewahlte Situationen; edle Simplicitat im Plan; Wahrheit in Sprache und Ausdruck; reine Moral, fern yon Lokal-Anspielungen, Satyre und bitterer Kritik.
IF YOUR HEAD IS WAX, DON'T WALK IN THE SUN Things that are bitterer than gall, Physicians say are always physical: Now women's tongues if into powder beaten, May in a potion or a pill be eaten, And as there's nought more bitter, I do muse, That women's tongues in physick they ne'er use, Myself and others who lead restless lives, Would spare that bitter member of our wives.
He was ornery and cruelly snobbish, and his outlook on life grew blacker and bitterer as he grew older.
Ronsard's fame makes her rejection of him even bitterer. The poetic persona offers the addressee a means of avoiding this dark future of regret through the carpe diem motif.
But that was not the case and makes it and even bitterer pill to swallow.
This scenario is well-known in the West, too, of course, but it somehow resonates with a bitterer echo in Russia, where ideals were laid out lavishly but remained unfulfilled.
of engaging in ''unilateral and high handed aggression, human rights abuses and killings'' that it said ''are inviting bitterer protest and denunciation of the world people.''
In Jewish humor, comedy and tragedy are intertwined and it is often what you might call "laughter through tears," or as we say in Yiddish, "a bitterer gelekhter!"
According to Andy Bitterer, an analyst at research company Meta Group, some vendors force users to upgrade their applications simply by discontinuing support on certain products.