Definition of vitriol
1a : a sulfate of any of various metals (as copper, iron, or zinc); especially : a glassy hydrate of such a sulfateb : oil of vitriol
2 : something felt to resemble vitriol especially in caustic quality; especially : virulence of feeling or of speech
vitriolicplay \ˌvi-trē-ˈä-lik\ adjective
Examples of vitriol in a sentence
His speech was full of political vitriol.
a film critic noted for the vitriol and sometimes outright cruelty of his pronouncements
Origin and Etymology of vitriol
Middle English, from Anglo-French vitriole, from Medieval Latin vitriolum, alteration of Late Latin vitreolum, neuter of vitreolus glassy, from Latin vitreus vitreous
First Known Use: 14th century
VITRIOL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vitriol for English Language Learners
: harsh and angry words
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up vitriol? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).