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 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 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

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

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 ?
Tears of regret have the bitterest taste Like rust in the mouth of a mechanical man Knowing the truth but not doing a thing Relaxed and lulled into a false sense of security About the Author
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McNealy, speaking at JavaOne 2003, gave his thoughts on two of the industry's biggest and bitterest legal disputes - Oracle' attempt to buy PeopleSoft for $16.
In 1845 Douglass could not afford to focus repeatedly on the "ineffable sadness" of slave songs or on the songs' reflection of "souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish," even though he reports early in the Narrative that "every tone [is] a testimony against slavery" (58).
And the Mexico showdown will bring two of the America's bitterest rivals together for a clash that is too close to call because of the history between the pair.
1m [pounds sterling] deal to sponsor England's bitterest rivals, Scotland.
in 1968, discusses dissident Soviet writers like Andrei Amalrik, but reserves his bitterest scorn for the attacks on Camus by Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre for not toeing the pro-Soviet line.
Still, it was quite an accolade coming from the captain of Celtic's bitterest rivals just hours before a Hampden Old Firm derby.
Gandhi, Sojourner Truth, Archbishop Desmond Tutu--they seem to possess the secret of winter foliage, the secret that keeps leaves steadfast in the bitterest season.
As with so many Internet standards, this area is being fought over by at least two powerful forces: Cisco Systems and a consortium composed of some of its bitterest competitors.
He had also made clear that, while reserving his bitterest hatred for Jews, he had extreme contempt for blacks too:
Two nations who have in this century healed some of the bitterest antipathy in history are France and Germany.
Even his critics could not resist the courage of the man; indeed, one of his bitterest foes stood at the back of the hall, with tears running down his cheeks, and told a reporter: "I hate the son of a bitch.
In reality it was the bitterest medicine which Therese had to take.
One of Fritz's bitterest enemies in the Forest Service told me, "Ned Fritz is a gentleman.