acid·​u·​lous ə-ˈsi-jə-ləs How to pronounce acidulous (audio)
: somewhat acid or harsh in taste or manner

Examples of acidulous in a Sentence

a slightly acidulous drink that is far more refreshing than the overly sweet iced tea that is also available a gently acidulous writing style that never becomes annoying
Recent Examples on the Web Six days a week, its chirpy, acidulous anchors expose the shortcomings of cabinet ministers and their opposition shadows. Dominic Green, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2022 Ray collaborated with the cinematographer Harry Stradling to create a screeching, acidulous palette of yellows, reds, and greens that stand out all the more against Ray’s calculated array of black-and-white outfits. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 30 Aug. 2022 His tangy, off-kilter visual compositions, rendered in an acidulous, sun-washed Kodachrome palette, convey a sense of spontaneous wonder and enthusiasm and lend daily conversations and activities a distinctive cinematic identity. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 23 June 2022 Here, Mankiewicz, working for the first time in color—in a palette on the edge of the alluring and the acidulous—relies on a determinedly moving camera to convey the passage of time and evoke the drama’s elegiac mode. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 30 July 2021 Sharp observations like these show us glimpses of the acidulous social satirist of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2021 Sourced from Provence, the purple plant is balanced out by acidulous Italian bergamot and spicy-sweet tonka bean. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 6 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acidulous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin acidulus "slightly sour," from acidus "sour" + -ulus, attenuating suffix — more at acid entry 2

First Known Use

1674, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acidulous was in 1674

Dictionary Entries Near acidulous

Cite this Entry

“Acidulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


acid·​u·​lous ə-ˈsij-ə-ləs How to pronounce acidulous (audio)
: somewhat acid to the taste
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