vin·​e·​gar | \ ˈvi-ni-gər How to pronounce vinegar (audio) \

Definition of vinegar

1 : a sour liquid obtained by fermentation of dilute alcoholic liquids and used as a condiment or preservative
2 : ill humor : sourness
3 : vim

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Examples of vinegar in a Sentence

glad to see his old friend was still full of vinegar after so many years

Recent Examples on the Web

High summer is not a time for lengthy recipes, which is why this one uses a simple dressing of seasoned rice vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil to coat both vegetables and noodles in a bright, nutty sauce. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "Salad Ramen Is the Only Dinner We Want When the Temp Gets Above 80 Degrees," 12 July 2019 Place in a bowl with the other vegetables of your choice, garlic, green onion, chile, soy sauce, and vinegar. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "Chill out with this curiously delicious cold soup," 11 July 2019 In a saucepot, combine diced pineapple, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and honey and reduce to a glaze. National Geographic, "Grilled Venison Strip Loin," 2 July 2019 There’s volatile acidity, which smells like nail polish and makes wine taste a bit like vinegar. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "The fault in our glass: How imperfections can enhance some wines — and even make them memorable," 28 June 2019 Toss with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, and a generous pinch of salt. Leigh Belanger,, "Recipe: Toss soba noodles with sugar snaps, cukes, carrots, and radishes in this cool summer salad," 24 June 2019 Whisk in the fish sauce, vinegar, garlic and chile. Janelle Bitker,, "Recipe: Nyum Bai’s Neorm Sach Moan (Cambodian Chicken Salad)," 21 June 2019 Stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Ellie Krieger, Twin Cities, "Lighter and brighter, this broccoli salad delivers on flavor," 20 June 2019 Add the vinegar, honey, the ½ teaspoon of salt and the black pepper, whisking to form a blended dressing. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "This deserves to be your summer’s go-to bacon salad," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vinegar.' 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 vinegar

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vinegar

Middle English vinegre, from Anglo-French vin egre, from vin wine (from Latin vinum) + egre keen, sour — more at eager

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Statistics for vinegar

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vinegar

The first known use of vinegar was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for vinegar



English Language Learners Definition of vinegar

: a sour liquid that is used to flavor or preserve foods or to clean things


vin·​e·​gar | \ ˈvi-ni-gər How to pronounce vinegar (audio) \

Kids Definition of vinegar

: a sour liquid made from cider, wine, or malt and used to flavor or preserve foods


vin·​e·​gar | \ ˈvin-i-gər How to pronounce vinegar (audio) \

Medical Definition of vinegar

1 : a sour liquid used as a condiment or a preservative that is obtained by acetic fermentation of dilute alcoholic liquids (as fermented cider, malt beer, or wine) or of dilute distilled alcohol
2 : a pharmaceutical solution of the active principles of drugs in dilute acetic acid usually prepared by maceration aromatic vinegar

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Comments on vinegar

What made you want to look up vinegar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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