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bittersweet

4 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Staff \Staff\ (st[.a]f), noun; pl. {Staves} (st[=a]vz or st[aum]vz; 277) or {Staffs} (st[.a]fs) in senses 1-9, {Staffs} in senses 10, 11. [AS. staef a staff; akin to LG. & D. staf, OFries. stef, G. stab, Icel. stafr, Sw. staf, Dan. stav, Goth. stabs element, rudiment, Skr. sth[=a]pay to cause to stand, to place. See {Stand}, and cf. {Stab}, {Stave}, noun]

1. A long piece of wood; a stick; the long handle of an instrument or weapon; a pole or stick, used for many purposes; as, a surveyor's staff; the staff of a spear or pike.

And he put the staves into the rings on the sides of the altar to bear it withal. --Ex. xxxviii. 7.

With forks and staves the felon to pursue. --Dryden.

2. A stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds. "Hooked staves." --Piers Plowman.

The boy was the very staff of my age. --Shak.

He spoke of it [beer] in "The Earnest Cry," and likewise in the "Scotch Drink," as one of the staffs of life which had been struck from the poor man's hand. --Prof. Wilson.

3. A pole, stick, or wand borne as an ensign of authority; a badge of office; as, a constable's staff.

Methought this staff, mine office badge in court, Was broke in twain. --Shak.

All his officers brake their staves; but at their return new staves were delivered unto them. --Hayward.

4. A pole upon which a flag is supported and displayed.

5. The round of a ladder. [R.]

I ascended at one [ladder] of six hundred and thirty-nine staves. --Dr. J. Campbell (E. Brown's Travels).

6. A series of verses so disposed that, when it is concluded, the same order begins again; a stanza; a stave.

Cowley found out that no kind of staff is proper for an heroic poem, as being all too lyrical. --Dryden.

7. (Mus.) The five lines and the spaces on which music is written; -- formerly called {stave}.

8. (Mech.) An arbor, as of a wheel or a pinion of a watch.

9. (Surg.) The grooved director for the gorget, or knife, used in cutting for stone in the bladder.

10. [From {Staff}, 3, a badge of office.] (Mil.) An establishment of officers in various departments attached to an army, to a section of an army, or to the commander of an army. The general's staff consists of those officers about his person who are employed in carrying his commands into execution. See {['E]tat Major}.

11. Hence: A body of assistants serving to carry into effect the plans of a superintendent or manager; sometimes used for the entire group of employees of an enterprise, excluding the top management; as, the staff of a newspaper. [1913 Webster +PJC]

{Jacob's staff} (Surv.), a single straight rod or staff, pointed and iron-shod at the bottom, for penetrating the ground, and having a socket joint at the top, used, instead of a tripod, for supporting a compass.

{Staff angle} (Arch.), a square rod of wood standing flush with the wall on each of its sides, at the external angles of plastering, to prevent their being damaged.

{The staff of life}, bread. "Bread is the staff of life." --Swift.

{Staff tree} (Bot.), any plant of the genus {Celastrus}, mostly climbing shrubs of the northern hemisphere. The American species ({Celastrus scandens}) is commonly called {bittersweet}. See 2d {Bittersweet}, 3 (b) .

{To set up one's staff}, {To put up one's staff}, {To set down one's staff} or {To put down one's staff}, to take up one's residence; to lodge. [Obs.]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Bittersweet \Bit"ter*sweet'\, adjective Sweet and then bitter or bitter and then sweet; esp. sweet with a bitter after taste; hence (Fig.), pleasant but painful.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Bittersweet \Bit"ter*sweet'\, noun

1. Anything which is bittersweet.

2. A kind of apple so called. --Gower.

3. (Bot.) (a) A climbing shrub, with oval coral-red berries ({Solanum dulcamara}); woody nightshade. The whole plant is poisonous, and has a taste at first sweetish and then bitter. The branches are the officinal {dulcamara}. (b) An American woody climber ({Celastrus scandens}), whose yellow capsules open late in autumn, and disclose the red aril which covers the seeds; -- also called {Roxbury waxwork}.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

bittersweet

adjective

1: tinged with sadness; "a movie with a bittersweet ending"

2: having a taste that is a mixture of bitterness and sweetness [syn: {bittersweet}, {semisweet}]

noun

1: poisonous perennial Old World vine having violet flowers and oval coral-red berries; widespread weed in North America [syn: {bittersweet}, {bittersweet nightshade}, {climbing nightshade}, {deadly nightshade}, {poisonous nightshade}, {woody nightshade}, {Solanum dulcamara}]

2: twining shrub of North America having yellow capsules enclosing scarlet seeds [syn: {bittersweet}, {American bittersweet}, {climbing bittersweet}, {false bittersweet}, {staff vine}, {waxwork}, {shrubby bittersweet}, {Celastrus scandens}]


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