adjective \ˈsa(-ə)r\

: having an acid taste that is like the taste of a lemon

: having the unpleasant taste or smell of food that is no longer fresh

: unpleasant or unfriendly

Full Definition of SOUR

:  causing or characterized by the one of the four basic taste sensations that is produced chiefly by acids <sour pickles> — compare bitter, salt, sweet
a (1) :  having the acid taste or smell of or as if of fermentation :  turned <sour milk> (2) :  of or relating to fermentation
b :  smelling or tasting of decay :  rancid, rotten <sour breath>
c (1) :  bad, wrong <a project gone sour>
(2) :  hostile, disenchanted <went sour on Marxism>
a :  unpleasant, distasteful
b :  cross, sullen
c :  not up to the usual, expected, or standard quality or pitch
:  acid in reaction —used especially of soil
:  containing malodorous sulfur compounds —used especially of petroleum products
sour·ish \ˈsa(-ə)r-ish\ adjective
sour·ly adverb
sour·ness noun

Examples of SOUR

  1. The milk had turned sour.
  2. He made a sour face.

Origin of SOUR

Middle English, from Old English sūr; akin to Old High German sūr sour, Lithuanian sūrus salty
First Known Use: before 12th century



: an alcoholic drink that has a sour taste

Full Definition of SOUR

a :  something sour
b :  the primary taste sensation produced by acid stimuli
:  a cocktail consisting of a liquor (as whiskey), lemon or lime juice, sugar, and sometimes ice

First Known Use of SOUR

before 12th century

Other Alcoholic Beverage Terms

finish, gimlet, mull, sake, setup, sommelier, syllabub, vintner, wassail



of food : to lose freshness and get an unpleasant taste or smell : to become sour

: to become unpleasant or unfriendly

: to make (someone or something) unpleasant or unfriendly

Full Definition of SOUR

intransitive verb
:  to become sour
transitive verb
:  to make sour

Examples of SOUR

  1. Her disposition has soured in recent years.
  2. Jealousy has soured their relationship.
  3. His experiences have soured him.
  4. The team's victory was soured by an injury to one of their best players.

First Known Use of SOUR

14th century
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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