bittersweet

The adjective bittersweet describes a taste that is a blend of bitter and sweet. Bittersweet chocolate, for example, contains more chocolate and less sugar than milk chocolate or even semisweet chocolate.

The adjective bittersweet doesn't just refer to taste. It can also describe a blend of emotions that are sweet but also tinged with sadness. If you attend a memorial service for your grandmother, for example, you can enjoy telling stories of the things you did together, but still feel sad that she's gone. The feelings and memories you have make you simultaneously happy and sad, and are therefore bittersweet.

Definitions of bittersweet
  1. adjective
    having a taste that is a mixture of bitterness and sweetness
    synonyms: semisweet
    tasty
    pleasing to the sense of taste
  2. adjective
    tinged with sadness
    “a movie with a bittersweet ending”
    Synonyms:
    sad
    experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness
  3. noun
    twining shrub of North America having yellow capsules enclosing scarlet seeds
    synonyms: American bittersweet, Celastrus scandens, climbing bittersweet, false bittersweet, shrubby bittersweet, staff vine, waxwork
    see moresee less
    type of:
    vine
    a plant with a weak stem that derives support from climbing, twining, or creeping along a surface
  4. noun
    poisonous perennial Old World vine having violet flowers and oval coral-red berries; widespread weed in North America
    synonyms: Solanum dulcamara, bittersweet nightshade, climbing nightshade, deadly nightshade, poisonous nightshade, woody nightshade
    see moresee less
    type of:
    nightshade
    any of numerous shrubs or herbs or vines of the genus Solanum; most are poisonous though many bear edible fruit
Word Family