- 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 sourness
The only way is to give them drink; this will mellow the sourness of age.Laws
Kwel smell of staleness, of sourness, above all of coldness!The Day of the Boomer Dukes
There are, however, some methods that will help to determine the sourness of the soil.Agriculture for Beginners
Charles William Burkett
But pain and weakness brought with them no sourness of spirit.History of the English People, Volume VI (of 8)
John Richard Green
Any expression seems to crack it—with the exception of sourness.The Mutiny of the Elsinore
- a variant spelling of Sur
- 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
Word Origin and History for sourness
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.