A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [uh-sur-bik]
    • /əˈsɜr bɪk/
    • /əˈsɜː.bɪk/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [uh-sur-bik]
    • /əˈsɜr bɪk/

Definitions of acerbic word

  • adjective acerbic sour in taste 4
  • adjective acerbic Acerbic humour is critical and direct. 3
  • adjective acerbic harsh, bitter, or astringent; sour 3
  • adjective acerbic sharp, bitter, or harsh in temper, language, etc. 3
  • adjective acerbic sour or astringent in taste: Lemon juice is acerbic. 1
  • adjective acerbic harsh or severe, as of temper or expression: acerbic criticism. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of acerbic

First appearance:

before 1860
One of the 29% newest English words
1860-65; < Latin acerb(us) sour, unripe, bitterly harsh + -ic, irregular for -ous

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Acerbic


acerbic popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 82% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

acerbic usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for acerbic

adj acerbic

  • sharp — having a thin cutting edge or a fine point; well-adapted for cutting or piercing: a sharp knife.
  • harsh — ungentle and unpleasant in action or effect: harsh treatment; harsh manners.
  • caustic — Caustic chemical substances are very powerful and can dissolve other substances.
  • acidic — Acidic substances contain acid.
  • acrid — An acrid smell or taste is strong and sharp, and usually unpleasant.

adjective acerbic

  • cutting — A cutting is a piece of writing which has been cut from a newspaper or magazine.
  • bitter — In a bitter argument or conflict, people argue very angrily or fight very fiercely.
  • acid — An acid is a chemical substance, usually a liquid, which contains hydrogen and can react with other substances to form salts. Some acids burn or dissolve other substances that they come into contact with.
  • sour — having an acid taste, resembling that of vinegar, lemon juice, etc.; tart.
  • mordant — sharply caustic or sarcastic, as wit or a speaker; biting.

Antonyms for acerbic

adj acerbic

  • kind — of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person.
  • calm — A calm person does not show or feel any worry, anger, or excitement.
  • mild — amiably gentle or temperate in feeling or behavior toward others.
  • nice — pleasing; agreeable; delightful: a nice visit.

Top questions with acerbic

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See also

Matching words

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