from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of several wading birds of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus, having mottled brownish plumage and a deep booming cry in the male.
- n. The bitter water solution of bromides, magnesium, and calcium salts remaining after sodium chloride is crystallized out of seawater.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Several bird species in the heron family Ardeidae.
- n. One species tending to have a relatively short neck in comparison with the other members of the family.
- n. The liquor remaining after halite (common salt) has been harvested from saline water (brine).
- n. A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A wading bird of the genus Botaurus, allied to the herons, of various species.
- n. The brine which remains in salt works after the salt is concreted, having a bitter taste from the chloride of magnesium which it contains.
- n. A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus Indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A European wading bird, of the family Ardeidæ and subfamily Botaurinæ; the Botaurus stellaris, a kind of heron.
- n. Any heron of the subfamily Botaurinæ.
- n. In salt-works, the brine remaining after the salt is concreted.
- n. A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus indicus, licorice, tobacco, etc., used for adulterating beer. Also called bittering.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. relatively small compact tawny-brown heron with nocturnal habits and a booming cry; found in marshes
Alteration (perhaps influenced by tern1) of Middle English bitour, from Old French butor, possibly from Vulgar Latin *buti-taurus : Latin būtiō, buzzard + Latin taurus, bull (after its cry).
From bitter.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French butor, from Gallo-Roman *butitaurus, a blend of Latin būtiō ("bittern") and taurus ("bull, ox"). (Wiktionary)
From bitter with an unclear suffix, perhaps a dialect form of -ing. (Wiktionary)