Definition of bittern:
- A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus Indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.
- A wading bird of the genus Botaurus, allied to the herons, of various species.
- The brine which remains in salt works after the salt is concreted, having a bitter taste from the chloride of magnesium which it contains.
- "The Economic Aspect of Geology", C. K. Leith.
One who selfishly imagines that all the floral beauty of the earth was created for man's sole delight will wonder why a flower so exquisitely beautiful as this dainty little orchid should be hidden in inaccessible peat- bogs, where overshoes and tempers get lost with deplorable frequency, and the water- snake and bittern mock at man's intrusion of their realm by the ease with which they move away from him.- "Wild Flowers Worth Knowing", Neltje Blanchan et al.
The Cormorants heartily wished he would go away, and they kept their eyes open and watched him, for fear he would spy the fish they had carefully hidden in the wet grass, for the Bittern also lives on fish.- "Round-about Rambles in Lands of Fact and Fancy", Frank Richard Stockton.