Bit"tern (?), n. [OE. bitoure, betore, bitter, fr. F. butor; of unknown origin.] Zool.

A wading bird of the genus Botaurus, allied to the herons, of various species.

⇒ The common European bittern is Botaurus stellaris. It makes, during the brooding season, a noise called by Dryden bumping, and by Goldsmith booming. The American bittern is B. lentiginosus, and is also called stake-driver and meadow hen. See Stake-driver.

The name is applied to other related birds, as the least bittern (Ardetta exilis), and the sun bittern.


© Webster 1913.

Bit"tern, n. [From Bitter, a.]


The brine which remains in salt works after the salt is concreted, having a bitter taste from the chloride of magnesium which it contains.


A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus Indicus, etc., used by fraudulent brewers in adulterating beer.



© Webster 1913.

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