sour

adjective
\ ˈsau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce sour (audio) \

Definition of sour

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : being, inducing, or marked by the one of the five basic taste sensations that is produced chiefly by acids and is characteristic of lemon juice sour pickles — compare bitter entry 1 sense 1a, salty entry 1 sense 1b, sweet entry 1 sense 1, umami entry 2
2a(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
b : cross, sullen
c : not up to the usual, expected, or standard quality or pitch
4 : acid in reaction used especially of soil
5 : containing malodorous sulfur compounds used especially of petroleum products

sour

noun

Definition of sour (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : something sour … they assimilated many Anglo-American sweet pickles and began adding more sugar to their sours.— William Woys Weaver
b : the taste sensation produced chiefly by acids — compare bitter entry 2 sense 1b, salty entry 2, sweet entry 3 sense 2, umami entry 1
2 : a cocktail consisting of a liquor (such as whiskey), lemon or lime juice, sugar, and sometimes ice

sour

verb
soured; souring; sours

Definition of sour (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to become sour

transitive verb

: to make sour

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Other Words from sour

Adjective

sourish \ ˈsau̇(-​ə)r-​ish How to pronounce sourish (audio) \ adjective
sourly adverb
sourness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sour

Synonyms: Adjective

acid, acidic, acidulous, sourish, tart, tartish, vinegary

Synonyms: Verb

alien, alienate, disaffect, disgruntle, estrange

Antonyms: Verb

reconcile

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Examples of sour in a Sentence

Adjective

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

Verb

Her disposition has soured in recent years. Jealousy has soured their relationship. His experiences have soured him. The team's victory was soured by an injury to one of their best players.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Baja Crush joins the hops list of other sour beers, including Cucumber Crush and Raspberry Crush. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Dish: South American tea-centric cafe comes to Pacific Beach," 6 June 2019 So when chiles are combined with something sweet, salty and sour, the first payoff is the sugar because your tongue detects it first, and then your brain produces dopamine. Daniela Galarza, New York Times, "‘Tajín Is a Lifestyle’: An Appreciation of the Mexican Seasoning Mix," 10 June 2019 The milk is sour, and someone (no one’s perfect, not even Eli!) put an empty Cheerios box in the refrigerator. David Canfield, EW.com, "Exclusive: The author of A Simple Favor is back with another juicy thriller," 5 June 2019 Start off with tempura veggies, try the sweet and sour chicken, and finish off with one of their four desserts. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "20+ Restaurants Open on Memorial Day That Your Family Will Love," 13 May 2019 For a filling meal, try the Power Menu Bowl, which includes black beans, sour scream, cheese, seasoned rice, guac, pico de gallo, and avocado ranch sauce. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "10 Fast-Food Options for Vegetarians," 17 Apr. 2019 That’s not to say real couples don’t go through tumult, but the character assassination of Jim Halpert in the pursuit of high-stakes drama caused a beloved show to end on a sour note. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "What Michael Schur Gets Right About Love That Everyone Else Gets Wrong," 20 May 2018 Ice Breakers Sugar-Free Mints Amazon customers are partial to the spicy-hot cinnamon, but these flip-top containers also dispense sour and fruity-minty options. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 8 Best Breath Mints to Carry Around With You All Day," 7 Dec. 2018 As the other Reagan's quarrel, Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) and Anthony Abetemarco (Steven R. Schirripa) are busy searching for the truth in what appears to be a date gone sour. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "This 'Blue Bloods' Sneak Peek Shows Eddie Janko Dealing with Some Reagan Family Drama," 19 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Its lime- and lemon-sour profile with a pinch of sea salt won over judges at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards. Brierley Horton, Health.com, "8 Best Gluten-Free Beers You'll Want to Stock Up On," 27 June 2019 San Diego’s Modern Times Beer is represented by Atlantis, a red wine barrel-aged sour matched with Lebanon bologna. Washington Post, "14 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 24 June 2019 Krantz rarely bought clothes off the rack, and the thought of entering a mall turned her sour. The Washington Post, nola.com, "Judith Krantz, best-selling racy romance novelist, dies at 91," 23 June 2019 During a family trip to Costa Rica, things quickly turned sour between Matt and Amy. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Reason Why 'Little People, Big World' Stars Amy and Matt Roloff Divorced," 10 Apr. 2019 Hell or High Watermelon, 21st Amendment Brewery Fruity sours are our jam, but there’s no reason fruit can’t make it into other types of beer, too. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The 12 Best Summer Beers of 2019," 10 June 2019 O’So’s sours are top-notch, but with 30 offerings, there’s something for every palate. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beer and a bike ride: 12 breweries along bike trails in Wisconsin," 6 June 2019 Alma This Peruvian restaurant has great Pisco sours. Kelly Dinardo, WSJ, "Geneva Beyond the Cliché," 12 Dec. 2018 What the Fizzics did was remove that sour, funk taste that comes in cheap canned pilsners. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "This Machine Makes Canned Beer Taste Like Draft," 17 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her innocence soured not long after her father and mother divorced in 2014. Andrew Boryga, sun-sentinel.com, "She came to South Florida to heal from her drug abuse. Months later she was dead.," 21 June 2019 In 1989 public opinion had soured because of inflation, corruption, and stagnating living standards—and the party itself was divided among reformers and hard-liners. Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books, "China’s ‘Black Week-end’," 17 June 2019 That might sour your opinion on the Karlsson contract, but the Sharks knew this was the case all along. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: What Erik Karlsson’s mega contract means for the Sharks," 17 June 2019 North Korea has noticeably toned down its anti-Washington rhetoric over the past several months to create a more conciliatory atmosphere for the summit and avoid souring attempts by both sides to reduce tensions and increase dialogue. The Christian Science Monitor, "North Korea cancels its annual anti-US rally," 25 June 2018 Hurricane Katrina soured a lot of people on the corps, said Nicole Gasparini, a Tulane earth and environmental sciences professor. Littice Bacon-blood, NOLA.com, "St. John Parish oil spill remains under investigation," 12 Feb. 2018 The economic boom that had drawn Wharton’s family to the Seattle area soured in the early 1970s. Matthew Van Meter, The New Republic, "The Judge and the Three-Strikes Convict," 17 June 2019 Their relationship soured in the aftermath of the 2017 London Bridge terror attack, when Trump blasted Khan's response to the emergency. Matthew Robinson, CNN, "Donald Trump: London mayor Sadiq Khan a 'disaster' over spate of violence," 16 June 2019 But some of his riskier investments, such as stakes in firms developing new drugs, soured. The Economist, "Neil Woodford, star fund-manager, comes a cropper," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sour.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sour

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for sour

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English sūr; akin to Old High German sūr sour, Lithuanian sūrus salty

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Learn More about sour

Dictionary Entries near sour

soup to nuts

soup up

soupy

sour

sour ball

sourberry

sourbush

Statistics for sour

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sour

The first known use of sour was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sour

sour

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sour

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

sour

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sour (Entry 2 of 3)

: an alcoholic drink that has a sour taste

sour

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sour (Entry 3 of 3)

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

sour

adjective
\ ˈsau̇r How to pronounce sour (audio) \
sourer; sourest

Kids Definition of sour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having an acid or tart taste a sour fruit
2 : having spoiled : not fresh sour milk
3 : suggesting decay a sour smell
4 : not pleasant or friendly a sour look

Other Words from sour

sourly adverb He looked at me sourly enough but said nothing. — Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

sour

verb
soured; souring

Kids Definition of sour (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or become acid or tart in taste (as by spoiling) The milk soured.
2 : to lose or cause to lose interest or enthusiasm He soured on trying new stunts following the mishap.
3 : to harm or damage The misunderstanding soured their friendship.

sour

adjective
\ ˈsau̇(ə)r How to pronounce sour (audio) \

Medical Definition of sour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing, characterized by, or being the one of the four basic taste sensations that is produced chiefly by acids — compare bitter, salt entry 2 sense 2, sweet entry 1

Other Words from sour

sourness noun

sour

noun

Medical Definition of sour (Entry 2 of 2)

: the primary taste sensation produced by acid stimuli

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More from Merriam-Webster on sour

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sour

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sour

Spanish Central: Translation of sour

Nglish: Translation of sour for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sour for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sour

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