ver·​juice ˈvər-ˌjüs How to pronounce verjuice (audio)
: the sour juice of crab apples or of unripe fruit (such as grapes or apples)
also : an acid liquor made from verjuice
: acidity of disposition or manner

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These days, verjuice is typically a tart, pale juice pressed from unripe white grapes, ideal for use in sauces and salad dressings. Verjuice has been around for centuries and is used in Dijon mustard, but the word (a descendant of Anglo-French vert, meaning "green," and jous, meaning "juice") has become somewhat uncommon - especially in American English - since its heyday in the early 19th century. (It's a bit more common in Australia.) In the past "verjuice" was also used with the meaning "acidity of disposition or manner" - a meaning hinted at in our first quote - but that sense is now only rarely encountered.

Examples of verjuice in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While previous versions relied on vinegar for mustard’s signature tang, Dijon’s visionaries swapped in verjuice, the highly acidic juice of pressed unripe grapes, which made for a smoother and more refined expression. Grey Poupon, Bon Appetit, 31 Oct. 2017 Later, when lemons, and then tomatoes, became available to add acidity to food, verjuice was rather knocked off the radar. Yotam Ottolenghi, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2017

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

Word History


Middle English vergeouse, borrowed from Anglo-French vertjous, from vert "green" + jous, jus juice entry 1 — more at verdant

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of verjuice was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near verjuice

Cite this Entry

“Verjuice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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