Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In salt-works, the brine remaining after the salt is concreted.
  • noun A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus indicus, licorice, tobacco, etc., used for adulterating beer. Also called bittering.
  • noun A European wading bird, of the family Ardeidæ and subfamily Botaurinæ; the Botaurus stellaris, a kind of heron.
  • noun Any heron of the subfamily Botaurinæ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A wading bird of the genus Botaurus, allied to the herons, of various species.
  • noun The brine which remains in salt works after the salt is concreted, having a bitter taste from the chloride of magnesium which it contains.
  • noun A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus Indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Several bird species in the heron family Ardeidae.
  • noun One species tending to have a relatively short neck in comparison with the other members of the family.
  • noun The liquor remaining after halite (common salt) has been harvested from saline water (brine).
  • noun archaic A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun relatively small compact tawny-brown heron with nocturnal habits and a booming cry; found in marshes

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French butor, from Gallo-Roman *butitaurus, a blend of Latin būtiō ("bittern") and taurus ("bull, ox").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From bitter with an unclear suffix, perhaps a dialect form of -ing.

Examples

Comments

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  • A bitter biting bittern bit a better biting bittern,

    And the better bitten bittern bit the bitter biter back;

    Said the bitter biting bittern to the better bitten bittern,

    "I'm a bitter biting bittern bitten back."

    --Tongue Twisters and Tricky Tanglers by Duncan Emrich

    September 11, 2007

  • See thunder-pumper.

    December 19, 2007

  • from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

    also from from Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution

    July 19, 2009

  • See bull-of-the-bog.

    May 10, 2011

  • Scottish blakwak.

    May 13, 2011

  • Scottish bog-blutter, bog-bumper, mire-bumper, bewter.

    May 13, 2011