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

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 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Of course, individual flavors must be in sync, but in general, balance is more about the use of our tastes: salty, sweet, sour and savory (or umami). Justin Ward, San Antonio Express-News, "How to brighten your dishes by adding a hit of acid," 5 June 2018 This gives a gose the same sort of satisfying appeal of another mildly sour and salty drink, the Bloody Mary. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "How The Perfect Pickle Beer Is Made," 18 Oct. 2016 Destihl is especially known for its sour beers, with the tart and fruity Flanders Red being one of the original stars of its Wild Sour series. Lori Rackl, chicagotribune.com, "Bicentennial bucket list: 20 essential Illinois drinks," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 If the housing market sours, banks could cut their funding—a move that doomed some nonbanks in the last crisis. Christina Rexrode, WSJ, "Retreat of Smaller Lenders Adds to Pressure on Housing," 22 Nov. 2018 Dogfish Head took the top honor for best canned beer with its Seaquench ale, a session sour. Allison Steele, Philly.com, "The winners of Craig LaBan's 2018 Brewvitational," 2 May 2018 If the housing market sours, banks could cut off their funding—which doomed some nonbanks in the last crisis. Annamaria Andriotis, WSJ, "The New Mortgage Kings: They’re Not Banks," 6 Sep. 2018 Try a sherry cobbler or a New York sour—classics for a reason—or inquire about a favorite. Alex Van Buren, Condé Nast Traveler, "21 Best Bars in New York City," 1 Mar. 2018 With the pickleball courts on their third day of being out of service due to some repairs to the fence, Murphy is on this day, well, more than a little half-sour. Amy S. Rosenberg, Philly.com, "Ocean City and the most cutthroat pickleball game at the Jersey Shore," 11 July 2018 The bar has also experimented with a cauliflower sour, says DORO Restaurant Group partner Scott Miller. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "Beyond Bloody Marys: Drinking Your Veggies At Your Favorite Cocktail Bar," 23 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His nature is like wine of a good vintage: time cannot sour, but only mellows him. New York Times, "Letters to the Editor," 15 June 2018 But our expectations quickly soured when, time after time, we were met by signs that forbade overnight parking. Will Mcgough, Popular Mechanics, "How to RV Camp with Fewer Crowds and More Country," 8 Nov. 2018 Eventually, the relationship soured sometime after Bobbitt received roughly $75,000 of the funds. Fox News, "Police raid New Jersey couple's home after $400G in GoFundMe cash they raised for homeless veteran disappears," 6 Sep. 2018 But the broadband industry’s victory on net neutrality quickly soured, as more than half the states in the union began exploring their own state-level protections. Karl Bode, The Verge, "California is leading the state-by-state fight for net neutrality," 1 Sep. 2018 But the relationship between Kogan, Stillwell, and Kosinski soon soured over contract negotiations that would have left the Psychometrics Centre with a much smaller cut of the budget than originally discussed. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "The Man Who Saw the Dangers of Cambridge Analytica Years Ago," 19 June 2018 Maine has soured on the president after giving him pretty good marks in his first month in office. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "The 13 most important governor elections in 2018, briefly explained," 15 Oct. 2018 Harvey's welcome in New York had quickly soured after several clashes with the front office and his poor performance on the field. Scott Boeck, USA TODAY, "Keith Hernandez tried to save Matt Harvey's career with the Mets," 16 May 2018 While Trump’s base has long been suspicious of Mueller, the president’s team believes independents and moderate Democrats who backed him in the last election but have since soured may return to the fold if convinced he was unfairly targeted. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Mueller report reprieve becomes Trump’s re-election weapon," 25 Mar. 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

21 May 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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