- having an acid taste, resembling that of vinegar, lemon juice, etc.; tart.
- rendered acid or affected by fermentation; fermented.
- producing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is not bitter, salt, or sweet.
- characteristic of something fermented: a sour smell.
- distasteful or disagreeable; unpleasant.
- below standard; poor.
- harsh in spirit or temper; austere; morose; peevish.
- Agriculture. (of soil) having excessive acidity.
- (of gasoline or the like) contaminated by sulfur compounds.
- Music. off-pitch; badly produced: a sour note.
- something that is sour.
- any of various cocktails consisting typically of whiskey or gin with lemon or lime juice and sugar and sometimes soda water, often garnished with a slice of orange, a maraschino cherry, or both.
- an acid or an acidic substance used in laundering and bleaching to neutralize alkalis and to decompose residual soap or bleach.
- to become sour, rancid, mildewed, etc.; spoil: Milk sours quickly in warm weather. The laundry soured before it was ironed.
- to become unpleasant or strained; worsen; deteriorate: Relations between the two countries have soured.
- to become bitter, disillusioned, or disinterested: I guess I soured when I learned he was married. My loyalty soured after his last book.
- Agriculture. (of soil) to develop excessive acidity.
- to make sour; cause sourness in: What do they use to sour the mash?
- to cause spoilage in; rot: Defective cartons soured the apples.
- to make bitter, disillusioned, or disagreeable: One misadventure needn't have soured him. That swindle soured a great many potential investors.
Origin of sour
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sour
And research shows that sugar has a sour effect on mental health, too.9 Ways to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder
December 5, 2014
One strip, Foolish Grandpa and Sour Henry, shows Grandpa being hit on the head by a sandbag and blown up by dynamite.The Magazine That Made—and Unmade—Politicians
November 2, 2014
Then when he looked away, she would make a face as if she just drank a cup of sour milk.It Was All a Dream: Drama, Bullshit, and the Rebirth of The Source Magazine
October 14, 2014
A girl from South Africa, with short hair and a sour face marrying the Prince?Princess Charlene's Monaco Nightmare
September 15, 2014
But Sandler was left with a sour taste in his mouth when he, along with his best friend Chris Farley, was fired from SNL in 1995.Adam Sandler Talks Getting Fired From ‘SNL,’ Bad Reviews, and His Desire to Play a Villain
September 12, 2014
In Berry it is the women that are sour, but the wines are rich.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
And on his countenance there was a sour, querulous, resentful expression.Night and Morning, Complete
It is not blood, but sour buttermilk that flows in their veins.'Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
The bread was sour and the Italian butter rank and cheesy—often uneatable.Samuel Butler: A Sketch
Henry Festing Jones
And what about those fatal Apples, those two sour fruits of their Love?The Book of Khalid
- having or denoting a sharp biting taste like that of lemon juice or vinegarCompare bitter (def. 1)
- made acid or bad, as in the case of milk or alcohol, by the action of microorganisms
- having a rancid or unwholesome smell
- (of a person's temperament) sullen, morose, or disagreeable
- (esp of the weather or climate) harsh and unpleasant
- disagreeable; distastefula sour experience
- (of land, etc) lacking in fertility, esp due to excessive acidity
- (of oil, gas, or petrol) containing a relatively large amount of sulphur compounds
- go sour or turn sour to become unfavourable or inharmonioushis marriage went sour
- something sour
- mainly US any of several iced drinks usually made with spirits, lemon juice, and icea whiskey sour
- an acid used in laundering and bleaching clothes or in curing animal skins
- to make or become sour
- a variant spelling of Sur
Word Origin and History for sour
Old English sur "sour, tart, acid, fermented," from Proto-Germanic *sura- "sour" (cf. Old Norse surr, Middle Dutch suur, Dutch zuur, Old High German sur, German Sauer), from PIE root *suro- "sour, salty, bitter" (cf. Old Church Slavonic syru, Russian syroi "moist, raw;" Lithuanian suras "salty," suris "cheese").
French sur "sour, tart" (12c.) is a Germanic loan-word. Meaning :having a peevish disposition" is from early 13c. Sense in whisky sour (1885) is "with lemon added" (1862). Sour cream is attested from 1855.
c.1300, from sour (adj.). Cf. Old High German suren, German säuern. Related: Soured; souring.