sour·​puss ˈsau̇(-ə)r-ˌpu̇s How to pronounce sourpuss (audio)
plural sourpusses
: a person who complains frequently or constantly and looks unhappy : grump, grouch
… coach Dan Gable, he of the Olympian intensity and until recently a chronic sourpuss, valiantly attempted to fight off a smile.Austin Murphy
When we four kids got banged up, whether it was barking our knees or breaking a leg, at least one of our dour, sourpuss relatives could be relied upon to say, "Oh, you'll live."Dana Jennings

Examples of sourpuss in a Sentence

He's just an old sourpuss. that old sourpuss must spend all his time making sure no one traipses across his lawn
Recent Examples on the Web More than a few folks, including one sourpuss in Toronto, have assumed the name refers to how fast your soup arrives once ordered, but that didn’t make sense to me. Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2021 Four generations on, the Grinch’s humble roots on the page as a black-and-white sourpuss, looking down on Who-ville and rueing the impending town feast, have become a Christmas cottage industry. Patrick Sauer, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Dec. 2020 The suggestion turns me into Schrödinger's sourpuss: neither angry nor disappointed but a superposition of both. Tom Simonite, Wired, 18 Feb. 2020 Even a sourpuss like Heifetz let his hair down madly dashing through the finale like a child’s first moments at Disneyland. Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2019 Reeves shoulders the dual roles of twin brothers with markedly divergent personalities: peevish sourpuss John and sweet-natured James, who is deep into a losing battle with AIDS. Don Aucoin,, 7 May 2018 According to the Washington Post, a jury awarded famed sourpuss Grumpy Cat $710,000 in damages on Monday, settling a lawsuit that began in 2015 between the cat’s company and the Grenade beverage company. Kate Hogan,, 25 Jan. 2018 To most Internet users, Grumpy Cat - the feline with a furry frown - is a minor celebrity that capitalized on the popularity of memes in 2012 as a perpetual sourpuss. The Washington Post,, 25 Jan. 2018 Herewith, a timeline of Ford's evolution into an irritable sourpuss. Nick Schager, Esquire, 16 Aug. 2013 See More

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

Word History


puss entry 2

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sourpuss was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near sourpuss

Cite this Entry

“Sourpuss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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