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pleasure mixed with sadness


bittersweet = bittersüß, zartbitter; bittersweet chocolate = Zartherb, Zartbitterschokolade; trailing bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara = Saurebe, Mausholz, Hundbeere, Wolfsbeere, Bittersüß, Stinkteufel, Wasserranke, Rote Hundsbeere, Waldnachtschatten



"People ask me how Game of Thrones is going to end, and I’m not going to tell them, but I always say to expect something BITTERSWEET in the end."

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, US magazine

"Plans by luxury retailer Burberry to relocate hundreds of jobs from Castleford to Leeds have been described as "BITTER-SWEET news."

BBC News

Did you


1. being at once bitter and sweet especially : pleasant but including or marked by elements of suffering or regret a bittersweet ballad bittersweet memories

2. of or relating to a prepared chocolate containing little sugar bittersweet chocolate chips

3. botany (noun)
a : a poisonous Eurasian woody vine (Solanum dulcamara) of the nightshade family that has purple flowers and oval reddish berries
b : a North American poisonous woody vine (Celastrus scandens) of the staff-tree family having clusters of small greenish flowers succeeded by yellow capsules



It's easy to imagine the contrast of tastes described by the word "bittersweet". The earliest use of the term, from the 14th century, referred to a type of apple, alternatively described as "sweet-bitter".

When referring to emotions, we emphasize the positive aspect, but feel an element of unhappiness nonetheless.

Here are some more expressions with bitter or sweet that might suit your taste:

- take the bitter with the sweet = accept the negative along with the positive (It's a great offer, but I'll have to relocate. I'll just have to take the bitter with the sweet)

- a bitter pill to swallow = accept an unpleasant fact (Discovering that his ex-wife would be his new boss was a bitter pill for Roger to swallow)

- the bitter end= an unhappy conclusion (Mark stayed with the company to the bitter end)

- a sweet deal = a very good business arrangement (I'm happy to say that we got a sweet deal on this order)

- short and sweet = compact and quick (We don't have much time, so please keep your message short and sweet)


both happy and sad, have mixed feelings, have mixed emotions, ambivalent; semisweet (dark chocolate)

Find an opportunity to SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation:

"Leaving a good job to start her own business has been BITTERSWEET."

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