sour grapes

plural noun

Definition of sour grapes

: disparagement of something that has proven unattainable his criticisms are just sour grapes

Examples of sour grapes in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

French suspicions of cheating used to seem like sour grapes. The Economist, "A French cyclist may win the Tour de France," 25 July 2019 Save yourself the sour grapes by avoiding the most overrated tourist attractions. Taylor Bell, USA TODAY, "Tourist traps: Why you should skip Stonehenge, Times Square and the Leaning Tower of Pisa," 19 July 2019 Republicans have countered that the lawsuit reflected sour grapes after a string of Democratic losses. Bobby Caina Calvan,, "Democrats complain of Trump ‘ballot bias’ in 2020 election," 16 July 2019 Republicans have countered that the lawsuit reflected sour grapes after a string of Democratic losses. Washington Post, "Florida Democrats complain of Trump ‘ballot bias’ in 2020," 16 July 2019 But another administration official dismissed the accusations as sour grapes. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, "Trump Bucked National-Security Aides on Proposed Iran Attack," 23 June 2019 There’s another reason to dismiss Intel’s claims as sour grapes too: The only PCIe 4.0 PCs this year will come covered in AMD stickers. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Intel challenges AMD's Ryzen 3000 CPUs to take the Core i9-9900K's real-world gaming crown," 10 June 2019 Over the past decade, the idea that the higher-education bubble is about to burst has been waved away as headline pessimism or conservative sour grapes over the leftward drift of college faculties. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America’s Disappearing Private Colleges," 21 Feb. 2019 There is also the small matter of widespread allegations of malfeasance and corruption involved in the bidding process, and some lingering sour grapes that the United States missed out because of it. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Qatar is the World Cup every fan should attend," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sour grapes.' 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 grapes

1760, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sour grapes

from the fable ascribed to Aesop of the fox who after finding himself unable to reach some grapes he had desired disparaged them as sour

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Statistics for sour grapes

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for sour grapes

The first known use of sour grapes was in 1760

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More Definitions for sour grapes

sour grapes


English Language Learners Definition of sour grapes

informal : unfair criticism that comes from someone who is disappointed about not getting something

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Comments on sour grapes

What made you want to look up sour grapes? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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