sour grapes

plural noun

: 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 Meanwhile, snowboarders around the state, and perhaps even the country, were eating sour grapes. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Sep. 2023 Why sour grapes? Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Mar. 2022 Out of those sour grapes came a business idea. Olivia Peluso, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2023 There's no sour grapes in that. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 31 Mar. 2022 What appeared to be sour grapes from a scorned city four years ago is turning into a nightmare for Kroenke and the NFL, as a longshot lawsuit heads toward trial in January, just in time to steal headlines from the Super Bowl at Kroenke’s showcase stadium Feb. 13. Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2021 Anything different or contradictory from her views is simply sour grapes. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2023 Some Meta executives have spoken about the generative A.I. boom with a distinct air of sour grapes. Mike Isaac, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2023 The tongue desiccated and parched, the oversteeped and forgotten tea, the tilting-toward-decay fizziness of sour grapes. Stephanie Danler, Time, 4 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1760, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sour grapes was in 1760

Dictionary Entries Near sour grapes

Cite this Entry

“Sour grapes.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

sour grapes

noun plural
: the act of making something seem unimportant after it becomes impossible to gain

More from Merriam-Webster on sour grapes

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