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[vin-i-ger] /ˈvɪn ɪ gər/
a sour liquid consisting of dilute and impure acetic acid, obtained by acetous fermentation from wine, cider, beer, ale, or the like: used as a condiment, preservative, etc.
Pharmacology. a solution of a medicinal substance in dilute acetic acid, or vinegar.
sour or irritable speech, manner, or countenance:
a note of vinegar in his voice.
Informal. vigor; high spirits; vim.
Origin of vinegar
1250-1300; Middle English vinegre < Old French, equivalent to vin wine + egre, aigre sour (see eager1)
Related forms
vinegarlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for vinegar


a sour-tasting liquid consisting of impure dilute acetic acid, made by oxidation of the ethyl alcohol in beer, wine, or cider. It is used as a condiment or preservative
sourness or peevishness of temper, countenance, speech, etc
(pharmacol) a medicinal solution in dilute acetic acid
(US & Canadian, informal) vitality
(transitive) to apply vinegar to
Derived Forms
vinegarish, adjective
vinegar-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French vinaigre, from vinwine + aigre sour, from Latin acer sharp
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vinegar

c.1300, from Old French vinaigre, from vin "wine" (from Latin vinum; see wine) + aigre "sour" (see eager). In Latin, it was vinum acetum "wine turned sour;" cf. also Greek oxos "wine vinegar," which is related to oxys "sharp" (see acrid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vinegar in Medicine

vinegar vin·e·gar (vĭn'ĭ-gər)
An impure dilute solution of acetic acid obtained by fermentation beyond the alcohol stage and used as a preservative.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for vinegar


Related Terms

full of piss and vinegar

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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vinegar in the Bible

Heb. hometz, Gr. oxos, Fr. vin aigre; i.e., "sour wine." The Hebrew word is rendered vinegar in Ps. 69:21, a prophecy fulfilled in the history of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:34). This was the common sour wine (posea) daily made use of by the Roman soldiers. They gave it to Christ, not in derision, but from compassion, to assuage his thirst. Prov. 10:26 shows that there was also a stronger vinegar, which was not fit for drinking. The comparison, "vinegar upon nitre," probably means "vinegar upon soda" (as in the marg. of the R.V.), which then effervesces.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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