- A quality of bodies which corrodes or destroys others; also, a harsh or biting sharpness; as, the acrimony of the juices of certain plants.(Archaic)
- Sharpness or severity, as of language or temper; irritating bitterness of disposition or manners."John the Baptist set himself with much acrimony and indignation to baffle this senseless arrogant conceit of theirs." [South.]synonyms: Acrimony Asperity Harshness Tartness."In his official letters he expressed, with great acrimony, his contempt for the king's character." [Macaulay.]"It is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received." [Johnson.]"A just reverence of mankind prevents the growth of harshness and brutality." [Shaftesbury.]
Usage: These words express different degrees of angry feeling or language. Asperity and harshness arise from angry feelings, connected with a disregard for the feelings of others. Harshness usually denotes needless severity or an undue measure of severity. Acrimony is a biting sharpness produced by an imbittered spirit. Tartness denotes slight asperity and implies some degree of intellectual readiness. Tartness of reply; harshness of accusation; acrimony of invective.
Etymology: L. acrimonia, fr. acer, sharp: cf. F. acrimonie