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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Acerb \A*cerb"\, a. [L. acerbus, fr. acer sharp: cf. F. acerbe. See Acrid.] Sour, bitter, and harsh to the taste, as unripe fruit; sharp and harsh.


a. 1 Sour, bitter, and harsh to the taste, as unripe fruit. 2 Sharp and harsh in expressing oneself.

  1. adj. sour or bitter in taste [syn: acerbic, astringent, sharp]

  2. harsh or corrosive in tone; "an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose"; "a barrage of acid comments"; "her acrid remarks make her many enemies"; "bitter words"; "blistering criticism"; "caustic jokes about political assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics"; "a sulfurous denunciation" [syn: acerbic, acid, acrid, bitter, blistering, caustic, sulfurous, sulphurous, venomous, virulent, vitriolic]

Usage examples of "acerb".

But perhaps on Plause's level he would not encounter the acerb Illyan.

He does acerb almost better than anyone I know, except for my mother when she's lost her temper, which thank God is not very often.

He had grown taller: this she had expected, but not the change in his face which had lengthened and hardened and taken on an acerb refinement.