acrimony, acerbity, asperity agree in denoting temper or language marked by irritation or some degree of anger or resentment.
Acrimony implies bitterness or ill will and also greater stinging or blistering power in what is said than the others

the controversial writings of the seventeenth century are notorious for their acrimony


we all know how easy it is to . . . defend a pet theory with acrimonyQuiller-Couch

Acerbity implies sourness as well as bitterness, sometimes as shown in words or mood, but more often as manifested in a morose, embittered nature

the judge’s smile seemed to operate on her acerbity of heart like sunshine upon vinegar, making it ten times sourer— Hawthorne

Often it suggests crabbedness

the Milton of religious and political controversy . . . is not seldom disfigured by want of amenity, by acerbityArnold

Asperity retains implications of harshness and roughness chiefly in reference to style

the elderly ladies in his audience had been shocked by the asperities of the new style in music— Copland

In general use asperity stresses quickness of temper or sharpness of resentment but it rarely suggests bitterness

told him with some asperity to mind his own business

Analogous words: bitterness (see corresponding adjective at BITTER): ill will, malignity, malignancy, spite, spleen, *malice, malevolence: rancor, animus, animosity, antipathy (see ENMITY)
Antonyms: suavity
Contrasted words: urbanity, diplomacy (see corresponding adjectives at SUAVE): courtesy, civility, politeness (see corresponding adjectives at CIVIL)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Acrimony — Ac ri*mo*ny, n.; pl. {Acrimonies}. [L. acrimonia, fr. acer, sharp: cf. F. acrimonie.] 1. 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] Bacon.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • acrimony — (n.) 1540s, quality of being acrid, from M.Fr. acrimonie or directly from L. acrimonia sharpness, pungency of taste, figuratively acrimony, severity, energy, from acer sharp (fem. acris, neut. acre; see ACRID (Cf. acrid)) + monia suffix of action …   Etymology dictionary

  • acrimony — index alienation (estrangement), malice, philippic, rancor, resentment, severity, spite, umbrage …   Law dictionary

  • acrimony — [n] nasty behavior, speech acerbity, animosity, antipathy, asperity, astringency, belligerence, bitterness, churlishness, crankiness, harshness, ill will, irascibility, malevolence, malice, mordancy, peevishness, rancor, rudeness, sarcasm, spite …   New thesaurus

  • acrimony — ► NOUN ▪ bitterness or ill feeling. ORIGIN originally in the sense «bitter taste or smell»: from Latin acrimonia, from acer pungent, acrid …   English terms dictionary

  • acrimony — [ak′ri mō΄nē] n. pl. acrimonies [L acrimonia, sharpness < acer, sharp < IE base * ak̑ : see ACID] bitterness or harshness of temper, manner, or speech; asperity …   English World dictionary

  • Acrimony — Infobox musical artist | Name = Acrimony Img capt = Img size = Background = group or band Alias = Origin = Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom Genre = Stoner metal Doom metal Years active = 1991 1999 Label = Godhead Records Game Two Records Peaceville …   Wikipedia

  • acrimony — n. bitter, sharp acrimony * * * [ ækrɪmənɪ] sharp acrimony bitter …   Combinatory dictionary

  • acrimony — [[t]æ̱krɪməni, AM moʊni[/t]] N UNCOUNT Acrimony is bitter and angry words or quarrels. [FORMAL] The council s first meeting ended in acrimony …   English dictionary

  • acrimony — /ak reuh moh nee/, n. sharpness, harshness, or bitterness of nature, speech, disposition, etc.: The speaker attacked him with great acrimony. [1535 45; < L acrimonia, equiv. to acri (s. of acer) sharp, sour + monia MONY] Syn. bitterness,… …   Universalium

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