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bitterful | bittering | bitterish | bitterling | bitterly | bittern | bitterness | bitternut | bitternut hickory | bitterroot | bitters





bitternn. [OE. bitoure, betore, bitter, fr. F. butor; of unknown origin.].
     A wading bird of the genus Botaurus, allied to the herons, of various species.  [1913 Webster]
    " The common European bittern is Botaurus stellaris. It makes, during the brooding season, a noise called by Dryden bumping, and by Goldsmith booming. The American bittern is Botaurus lentiginosus, and is also called stake-driver and meadow hen. See Stake-driver."  [1913 Webster]
    "The name is applied to other related birds, as the least bittern (Ardetta exilis), and the sun bittern."  [1913 Webster]
bitternn. [From Bitter, a.].
  •  The brine which remains in salt works after the salt is concreted, having a bitter taste from the chloride of magnesium which it contains.  [1913 Webster]
  •  A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus Indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.  Cooley.  [1913 Webster]


bittern, n.
1 any of a group of wading birds of the heron family, esp. of the genus Botaurus with a distinctive booming call.
2 Chem. the liquid remaining after the crystallization of common salt from sea water.

ME f. OF butor ult. f. L butio bittern + taurus bull; - n perh. f. assoc. with HERON

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