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 To the president and his supporters, the arguments from critics amount to sour grapes, an effort by an impeachment-crazed opposition to play down the success of a focused, successful clandestine operation that echoed the killing of Osama bin Laden. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Al-Baghdadi Raid Was a Victory Built on Factors Trump Derides," 27 Oct. 2019 Europe’s version of techlash often looks like sour grapes. The Economist, "Europe has so many issues with Big Tech it hardly knows where to begin," 3 Oct. 2019 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

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

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sour grapes.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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