Let's someone treated me badly. He broke my cup on purpose, and I am indignant at that. How to describe that behaviour that caused me to be indignant? Can I say that that person's behaviour is bitter?

  • 2
    There are far too many words that could fit here. You will need to be more focused in what you're looking for. Jun 28, 2019 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


While bitter does mean:

something that causes deep pain or anger (Cambridge)

it is not idiomatic to characterise someone's behaviour as bitter. I am not very sure why, but my feeling is that the noun characterised as bitter more often than not provokes bitterness in the person possessing it, not in someone else. Some of the most common nouns used with bitter are taste, tears, disappointment.

For example: bitter taste is a taste which is bitter to the person who is experiences the taste, it does not provoke bitterness in another person. The same goes for bitter tears (you cannot say that your tears are bitter for me) and for bitter disappointment (you cannot say that your disappointment causes bitterness in me).

You could use embittering, which comes from the transitive verb embitter and works grammatically, but only if you want to emphasise the idea of resentment. Embittering means:

having qualities that make a person feel bitter (Collins)

In bitter, the idea of rancour seems stronger than anger.

A better word choice in order to emphasise the idea of anger would be infuriating which means:

extremely annoying:

  • It's infuriating when people keep spelling your name wrong, isn't it? (Cambridge)

Certainly, any synonyms of annoying would work too.


I would suggest Aggravating

But I can think of a few other words too, such as:


But I don't think Bitter would be the correct term. In fact you would be more likely to be the one who is bitter in this case.

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