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 Dictionary entry overview: What does acerbic mean? 

ACERBIC (adjective)
  The adjective ACERBIC has 2 senses:

1. sour or bitter in taste
2. harsh or corrosive in tone

  Familiarity information: ACERBIC used as an adjective is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

ACERBIC (adjective)

Sense 1acerbic [BACK TO TOP]


Sour or bitter in taste


acerb; acerbic; astringent


sour (having a sharp biting taste)

Sense 2acerbic [BACK TO TOP]


Harsh or corrosive in tone


vitriolic; acid; blistering; caustic; acerb; venomous; sulphurous; sulfurous; acrid; acerbic; bitter; virulent

Context examples:

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 / a vitriolic critique


unpleasant (disagreeable to the senses, to the mind, or feelings)

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