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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Basically, any variety of fresh produce and herbs combined on a plate or in a bowl becomes a salad with the addition of some olive oil and an acid like a yummy vinegar or a citrus juice. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, 14 July 2021 Vinegar is acidic and ingesting concentrated or undiluted vinegar can cause vomiting, diarrhea, oral irritation, and pain in pets. Alicia Chilton, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 July 2021 The third, and shaggiest, traces the journalistic adventures of a gay Black writer and bon vivant (played with some louche wit by Jeffrey Wright) clearly modeled on James Baldwin — minus any of Baldwin’s political vigor and vinegar. Guy Lodge, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2021 Rinse thoroughly to remove any lingering vinegar taste, then dry the berries gently to avoid bruising. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 9 July 2021 Drizzle in sugar cane vinegar, along with bay leaves. Wendy Hu, Travel + Leisure, 8 July 2021 Many a Southern grandma has shared the wisdom about catching more flies with honey than vinegar. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, 30 June 2021 In a pot, combine onions, garlic, black pepper, star anise, bay leaf and vinegar/soy mixture. Joshua David Stein, WSJ, 25 June 2021 Start with a simple layering of spring onion and beets, vinegar or pomegranate molasses, topped with ripe fruit, nuts. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About vinegar

Time Traveler for vinegar

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for vinegar

Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vinegar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on vinegar

Nglish: Translation of vinegar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vinegar for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vinegar


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!