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How to pronounce acerbic (audio)

Dictionary Definition of 'acerbic'

Sharp, biting, or acidic in nature, often used in reference to someone's tone or manner of speaking.
"The acerbic tone of the critic's review was not well received by the author."

Detailed Meaning of 'acerbic'

It can also imply a lack of warmth or politeness in one's words or actions. For example, an acerbic remark is one that is harsh or cutting in nature, while an acerbic person may be one who speaks or acts in a harsh or critical manner. The word can also be used to describe something that is sour or bitter in taste, like acerbic lemon juice or vinegar. It implies a sense of harshness, bitterness or acidity, and can have negative connotations. It can also imply a lack of tact, politeness or empathy in one's words or actions.

History and Etymology of 'acerbic'

The adjective 'acerbic' has its origins in the Latin word 'acerbicus,' which is derived from 'acerbis,' meaning 'sour' or 'bitter.' In Latin, 'acerbicus' was used to describe something with a sharp or biting taste, much like a sour or bitter fruit. Over time, this term was adopted into English to describe not only flavors but also the nature of language and speech. 'Acerbic' now refers to a sharp, biting, or acidic tone or manner of speaking, often characterized by harsh criticism, sarcasm, or caustic remarks. The etymology of 'acerbic' underscores the idea of sharpness and bitterness, which aptly captures the biting and acrid quality of someone's language or expression when described as acerbic.

Examples of 'acerbic' in a Sentence

1. His acerbic criticism of the politician's policies sparked a heated debate.
2. The author's acerbic writing style captivated readers with its sharp and biting observations.
3. The talk show host gained popularity for her acerbic commentary on current events.
4. His acerbic personality often led to strained relationships and misunderstandings.
5. The journalist's acerbic column dissected the flaws in the government's economic policies.
6. The acerbic tone of his writing alienated many readers, but it garnered a dedicated following.
7. Her acerbic wit masked a deep-seated insecurity and fear of vulnerability.
8. The politician's acerbic remarks during the debate drew both praise and criticism.
9. The professor's acerbic grading style was known to be tough but fair.
10. She lashed out with an acerbic comment, regretting it instantly as soon as the words left her mouth.
11. The acerbic banter between the two comedians kept the audience entertained throughout the show.
12. His acerbic sense of humor often crossed the line into offensiveness, causing controversy.
13. The journalist's acerbic commentary on social issues forced readers to confront uncomfortable truths.
14. The acerbic critique of the art exhibition revealed the writer's deep knowledge and discerning taste.





Quiz Categories Containing 'acerbic'

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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same / different


Spelling Bee


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