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I appreciate her fine mind, but find her humor a bit acerbic.
  clever or funny, but also harsh or cruel
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acerbic acerbity acerbically
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  • I appreciate her fine mind, but find her humor a bit acerbic.
  • an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose
  • Finally, the intercom crackles and Haymitch’s acerbic laugh fills the studio.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • One is reminded of Montaigne’s acerbic comment: "Men under stress are fools, and fool themselves."
    Michael Crichton  --  The Andromeda Strain

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  • "You cannot win," Matthias said finally, and Jace laughed, that sharp acerbic laugh Clary had first fallen in love with.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • As I say this I realize the acerbity of the words but somehow don’t regret them.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • My captor, a man of few words, had responded to my questions, demands and acerbic remarks alike with the all-purpose Scottish noise which can best be rendered phonetically as "Mmmmphm."
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Mr. Fleming proves to be loud and acerbic and sometimes coyly wiseguyish.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • It is serious, but free from acerbity.
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • The dove then turned up his coat-collar, and put on his cocked hat; and, having exchanged a long and affectionate embrace with his future partner, once again braved the cold wind of the night: merely pausing, for a few minutes, in the male paupers’ ward, to abuse them a little, with the view of satisfying himself that he could fill the office of workhouse-master with needful acerbity.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist

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  • Mallinson, who had been somberly enduring these pleasantries, now interposed with something of the shrill acerbity of the barrack square.
    James Hilton  --  Lost Horizon
  • It was quite otherwise with Hepzibah; the Judge’s smile seemed to operate on her acerbity of heart like sunshine upon vinegar, making it ten times sourer than ever.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • "Thanks so much," I said, my voice acerbic.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Twilight
  • …pleased, flustered, grinning waiter telling him that the storm currently heading their way was supposed to slide off to the south, toward New Mexico; he remembered the chill feel of the bottle, the discreet sound of the cork as he eased it free; he remembered the dry, acerbic-acidic taste of the first glass and opening his travel bag and looking at his plane ticket back to New York; he remembered suddenly, on the spur of the moment, deciding , ’ , that I better get you home right away!
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • He saw the two pictures together with somewhat the same primitive exaltation—two games he had played, differing in quality of acerbity, linked in a way that differed them from Rosalind or the subject of labyrinths which were, after all, the business of life.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • Whenever he is heard advancing, they both make some little decorative preparation to receive him; at other times they divide their watches into short scraps of oblivion and dialogues not wholly free from acerbity, as to whether Miss Dedlock, sitting with her feet upon the fender, was or was not falling into the fire when rescued (to her great displeasure) by her guardian genius the maid.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • There was enough acerbity and sarcasm not only in the matter of Ralph’s speech, but in the tone of voice in which he uttered it, and the looks with which he eked it out, to have fired even the ancient usurer’s cold blood and flushed even his withered cheek.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • He teases her by saying that in that case it would be sinful of him to marry at all, since to do so would amount to matricide; and he adds — to soften the acerbity — that he can do much better without a wife than without a mother, and especially such a perfect mother as herself; at which she gives him a sharp look which tells him she knows several tricks worth two of that, and is not deceived.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • "Not quite, esteemed prince," replied Lebedeff, with some acerbity.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • Dapper, cultivated, and acerbic, a leather briefcase tucked under his arm, he is a familiar figure on Broadway as the theater critic for New York magazine.
    Robert MacNeil and William Crane  --  Do You Speak American?
  • Dr. Randolph Gates found a relentless wave on which to ride, a mellifluous voice with which to speak, and a growing acerbic vocabulary to match the dawning new era.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Eddis had heard several people, out of the Thief’s hearing, lamenting the loss of his acerbic comments on the court but found that she missed his grin more.
    Megan Whalen Turner  --  Queen of Attolia
  • Though the sea was like a washboard, and progress upon it was both nauseating and cold, the acerbic smoke from the engines of the cattle boat was slicked back from the funnel like the hair of a pilot in an open cockpit, and it no longer tangled over the decks in crosswinds, tormenting the condemned and their captors alike.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • Olmsted had a reputation for brilliance and tireless devotion to his work—but also for an acerbic candor that emerged most predictably in the presence of men who failed to understand that what he sought to create were not flower beds and ornamental gardens but expanses of scenery full of mystery, shadow, and sun-stippled ground.
    Erik Larson  --  The Devil in the White City
  • It is well known that great scholars who have shown the most pitiless acerbity in their criticism of other men’s scholarship have yet been of a relenting and indulgent temper in private life; and I have heard of a learned man meekly rocking the twins in the cradle with his left hand, while with his right he inflicted the most lacerating sarcasms on an opponent who had betrayed a brutal ignorance of Hebrew.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • His neck was so twisted that the knotted ends of his white cravat usually dangled under one ear; his natural acerbity and energy, always contending with a second nature of habitual repression, gave his features a swollen and suffused look; and altogether, he had a weird appearance of having hanged himself at one time or other, and of having gone about ever since, halter and all, exactly as some timely hand had cut him down.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Eugenides, for his part, gravely asked the queen to dance and was as gravely granted the privilege, but Attolia spoke to him only in the most formulaic phrases, and Eddis knew that he responded with the acerbic comments sotto voce for which he was famous.
    Megan Whalen Turner  --  Queen of Attolia
  • As the trio sits sipping midafternoon tea after their descent from the Wawel parapets, the Professor apologizes with perhaps a touch too much acerbity on the poorness of Cracow water, intones with perhaps a shade too much feeling his regret at having had only the most fleeting glimpse of the charming Frau Duffield before she hastened upstairs to her chambers.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • I shouldn’t be seen with two white guys," Cedric says acerbically.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
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Associated words [difficulty]:   acerbic [7]
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