vin·​e·​gary ˈvi-ni-g(ə-)rē How to pronounce vinegary (audio)
: resembling vinegar : sour
: flavored with vinegar
: disagreeable, bitter, or irascible in character or manner
two vinegary fellows bickering

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Mendes, who will be cooking dishes such as a sweet prawn and steamed egg cake with presunto balchão (ham in a spicy, vinegary sauce), had long fantasized about pursuing a project in his mother’s homeland. Lindsey Tramuta Jameson Montgomery Juan A. Ramírez Ellie Pithers Gisela Williams Amy Fang, New York Times, 25 May 2023 Paul Giamatti was born to play Pekar, the cantankerous, vinegary Cleveland resident who was, weirdly, a regular David Letterman guest. Debby Wolfinsohn,, 11 Apr. 2023 Although people are well aware of the benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar, many hesitate to do so because of its potent and vinegary taste. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 17 Oct. 2022 Flavors run seasonal and a little brainy but never ridiculous: Pickled strawberries, which come off as intensified rather than vinegary, make perfect sense on the palate combined with blueberries and crushed graham crackers. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2021 Some sauces are very sweet; others lean more vinegary. J. Kenji López-alt, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2023 Blitz together the vinegary herb dressing and use it as both a marinade for chicken breasts and a flavor infuser for sliced veggies. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, 17 Feb. 2023 Hal Holbrook, who carved out a substantial acting career in television and film but who achieved his widest acclaim onstage, embodying Mark Twain in all his craggy splendor and vinegary wit in a one-man show seen around the world, died Jan. 23 at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Robert Berkvist, Star Tribune, 2 Feb. 2021 The most American of presentations is coleslaw, which is also having its moment, as cooks combine at least two varieties in the bowl (green, perhaps, along with some of the sweeter red cabbage), and toss them with a vinegary dressing or something mayo-based and creamy. Sheryl Julian,, 28 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of vinegary was circa 1730

Dictionary Entries Near vinegary

Cite this Entry

“Vinegary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


vin·​e·​gary ˈvin-i-g(ə-)rē How to pronounce vinegary (audio)
: resembling vinegar : sour

More from Merriam-Webster on vinegary

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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