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 Now the team has to tune out all of the sour grapes talk and prepare for a talented if somewhat inconsistent Tar Heels squad that mixed impressive wins with some very puzzling losses. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Watchability rankings: Which college football bowl games, including the CFP semifinals, are best bets for excitement," 30 Dec. 2020 Should this be viewed as anything more than sour grapes over Trump’s defeat? Paul Gattis |, al, "Mo Brooks embraces controversy as he leads longshot fight for Trump," 28 Dec. 2020 The question was often which ones were sharing legitimate information rather than just sour grapes. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | DEBRA HALE-SHELTON: The inside scoop on newsroom goings-on," 14 Dec. 2020 Something is definitely amiss in our system, namely a president who makes whine from sour grapes — and the army of sycophantic panderers who enable him. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: Paxton makes a fool of himself with lawsuit," 11 Dec. 2020 Yes for Fairness pro-amendment group, suggests this is all sour grapes, pointing to Griffin backing former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who lost his reelection bid to Pritzker. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Lightfoot’s budget will make more speeders pay | Is it OK to trust the polls in presidential race this time? | Griffin blasts Pritzker’s ‘fair tax’ in staff email," 23 Oct. 2020 Michel, of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, dismissed criticism of Benitez by gun control groups as so much sour grapes. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Obscure court rule sends gun rights cases to one San Diego federal judge, troubling gun control groups," 17 Oct. 2020 Kasich insists that his opposition to the president is not driven by sour grapes. Peter Baker New York Times, Star Tribune, "John Kasich, a 'deeply worried' Republican, stands up for Biden," 17 Aug. 2020 Generally speaking, complaints about sexism were perceived as sour grapes. Nora Caplan-bricker, The New Yorker, "Curtis Sittenfeld’s “Rodham” Offers the Catharsis of Uncomplicated Regret," 17 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for sour grapes

Time Traveler

The first known use of sour grapes was in 1760

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Statistics for sour grapes

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sour grapes.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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