Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Latin, 19th century
Sharp or harshly critical in tone
Having a sour or bitter taste
Examples of Acerbic in a sentence
"Her professor’s acerbic criticisms made her regret taking the class."
"The lemon juice gave an acerbic note to the pasta."
Popularity Over Time
The root of acerbic is the Latin adjective "acerbus," meaning harsh or unpleasant. The meaning has held true in English, with the adjective "acerbic" being applied to anything with a sharp, sarcastic, or cutting delivery.
Did you Know?
The original meaning of "acerbic" concerned a literal bitter taste but it has evolved to describe a more figurative harsh tone or expression. You could enjoy a sour flavor, but you’re not likely to enjoy a sourpuss with an acerbic nature.