acerbic | acerbity

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Civil Services



sharp or bitingly critical

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acerbic - biting

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To be ‘acerbic’ is to be harshly bitter or cutting towards somebody. Like the similar term ‘acidic’, this word connotes something corrosive that has the potential to be damaging to both you and others. It is typically used to express a caustic tone or language that is liable to cause offence.

Synonyms cutting,caustic
Antonyms gracious

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  1. I can’t believe you took such an acerbic tone with your boss! You clearly have no respect for authority.

  2. The comedian’s acerbic wit caused a bit of a stir. Some found it funny while others thought it was highly offensive.

  3. The journalist’s articles are often sharp and forthright, but from time to time she balances her acerbity with gentle humour.

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