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Acerbity   Listen

A sharp bitterness.
A sharp sour taste.  Synonym: tartness.
A rough and bitter manner.  Synonyms: acrimony, bitterness, jaundice, tartness, thorniness.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Acerbity" Quotes from Famous Books

... I had encountered on the evening of my first day in Concord, when I rang the door bell of the Alcott residence and asked if the seer was within. I fancied that there was a trace of acerbity in the manner of the tall lady who answered my ring, and told me abruptly that Mr. Alcott was not at home, and that I would probably find him at Mr. Sanborn's farther up the street. Perspiring philosophers with dusters and grip-sacks had been arriving all day and applying at the ...
— Four Americans - Roosevelt, Hawthorne, Emerson, Whitman • Henry A. Beers

... The only other point to be remarked upon is the general charge against Mr. Burroughs's temper and disposition. It may be that he became so disgusted with the state of things as to have shown some acerbity in his manners, but such a supposition is not in harmony with what little is known of him from other sources; and John Putnam's conduct at the meeting described proves that his mind was fully perverted, and bereft as it were of all moral rectitude of judgment, ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... acerbity was softened by her weakness. We grew quite companionable in the winter days when Dicky's absence at the studio left us together. Altogether I felt that life had been ...
— Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon • Adele Garrison

... should she succeed in effecting her design, it might prove difficult if not impossible to capture her. His anxiety to speedily get alongside her and force her to action accordingly grew almost momentarily more intense, as also did his acerbity of temper, until at length he became so nearly unbearable that, had he just then happened to have been washed overboard, I believe not a single man in the ship— apart from the officers, that is, of course—would have raised a hand or joined in ...
— The Rover's Secret - A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba • Harry Collingwood

... 105. Doubtless, as Oncken has pointed out with much acerbity, Castlereagh's knowledge that Austria would suggest the modification of our maritime claims contributed to his refusal to consider her proposal for a general peace: but I am convinced, from the tone of our records, that his chief motive was his experience of Napoleon's intractability ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... bitterness, acridness^, acridity, acrimony; caustic, alkali; acerbity; gall, wormwood; bitters, astringent bitters. Angostura [additive for alcoholic beverages], aromatic bitters. sourness &c 397; pungency &c 392. [bitter substances] alkaloids; turmeric. Adj. bitter, bitterish, acrid, acerb, acerbic. Phr. bitter as gall; bitter pill to take; sugar coating ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... first meeting he had felt that she was far superior to the other Biamite maidens, not only in beauty but in everything else. The very acerbity of her nature had seemed charming. To win this wonderful, pliant creature, slender as a cypress, whose independence merged into fierce obstinacy, had appeared to him worth any sacrifice; and having perceived in her an admirable model for his Arachne, he had also determined to brave the ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... tears, and terrified Clementina by telling her she was the cause of it all to the speechless confusion of the innocent creature. Not content with this, he made his way at once to Mr. Demetrius's room and there cross-examined everyone with the acerbity of an Old Bailey judge. What had the young lady been in the habit of eating and drinking? They must fetch what had been left over from her meals, he must see and examine everything. What had she eaten yesterday evening? Preserves? Then ...
— The Poor Plutocrats • Maurus Jokai

... Herr von Eschenhagen," she said with acerbity. "You heard distinctly the words which your mother spoke to me, and whatever else they may have meant, they most certainly meant that I was to be shunned. Why ...
— The Northern Light • E. Werner

... who was not only remarkable for the mildness of his temper and the amenity and grace of his manner, but whose society was courted in the most distinguished circles of Paris on account of his accomplishments. He perceived in Bonaparte a kind of acerbity and bitter irony, of which he long endeavoured to discover the cause. 'I believe,' said Albert one day to my mother, 'that the poor young man feels keenly his dependent situation.'" ('Memoirs of the Duchesse d'Abrantes, vol. ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... generation of vipers, was the first to cry out for the crucifixion of Christ and the release of Barabbas; and also because soon after, when Christ, panting under the burden of the rood, sought to rest before his workshop (he was a cobbler), the fellow ordered Him off with acerbity. Thereupon Christ replied, 'Because thou grudgest Me such a moment of rest, I shall enter into My rest, but thou shalt wander restless.' At once, frantic and agitated, he fled through the whole earth, and on the same account to this day he journeys through the world. It ...
— Legends That Every Child Should Know • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... Nature, so he emancipated man as forming with Nature an integral part of the supreme Being. He was led upon this path to combat Aristotle and to satirize Christian beliefs, with a subtlety of scholastic argumentation and an acerbity of rhetoric that now pass for antiquated. Much that is obsolete in his writings must be referred to the polemical necessities of an age enthralled by peripatetic conceptions, and saturated with the ecclesiastical divinity ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... the year 1826 the Advocate's criticisms upon certain members of the oligarchical faction were marked by exceptional acerbity. The persons attacked, however, sought in vain throughout the closely-packed columns for any material upon which a criminal prosecution might be founded; for Mr. Mackenzie, whether by prudence or good fortune, contrived for some ...
— The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... copy of his despatch reporting it should be in the Pitt Papers.[73] On the whole, then, France had good reason to be satisfied with Pitt. Austria, on the other hand, disliked his conduct. Kaunitz, with his usual acerbity, gave out that England was secretly hostile to the House of Hapsburg; and Keith, finding his position increasingly awkward, begged for ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... a tuft on the top of his nose, and a stubby iron-grey beard; but his eyes are bright and piercing. He has the reputation of being a rigid disciplinarian, and of shooting freely for insubordination. I understand he is rather unpopular on this account, and also by reason of his occasional acerbity of manner. He was extremely civil to me, and gave me permission to visit the outposts, or any part of his army. He also promised to help me towards joining Morgan in Kentucky, and he expressed his regret that a boil on his hand would ...
— Three Months in the Southern States, April-June 1863 • Arthur J. L. (Lieut.-Col.) Fremantle

... you honour," Sir Charles answered, with some acerbity. Then he whispered in my ear: "Confounded clever scoundrel, Sey; rather wish we ...
— An African Millionaire - Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay • Grant Allen

... critique of my own limbs, which she said, justly enough, were nothing to write home about, this girl went on to dissect my manners, morals, intellect, general physique, and method of eating asparagus with such acerbity that by the time she had finished the best you could say of Bertram was that, so far as was known, he had never actually committed murder or set fire to an orphan asylum. Subsequent investigation proved that she ...
— Right Ho, Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... and affectionate embrace with his future partner, once again braved the cold wind of the night: merely pausing, for a few minutes, in the male paupers' ward, to abuse them a little, with the view of satisfying himself that he could fill the office of workhouse-master with needful acerbity. Assured of his qualifications, Mr. Bumble left the building with a light heart, and bright visions of his future promotion: which served to occupy his mind until he reached the shop of ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... The almost cynical acerbity of the preceding is ostensibly relieved of an obvious application to certain illustrious contemporary examples among preachers by the following open allusion to ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... year 1892, in a work published over a pseudonym, the present writer described the rotten condition of the Tsardom, and ventured to foretell its speedy collapse.[274] The French historian Michelet wrote with intuition marred by exaggeration and acerbity: "A barbarous force, a law-hating world, Russia sucks and absorbs all the poison of Europe and then gives it off in greater quantity and deadlier intensity. When we admit Russia, we admit the cholera, dissolution, ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

Words linked to "Acerbity" :   bitter, acerbate, sour, acerbic, disagreeableness, acidity, bitterness, sourness

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