View synonyms for sour


[ souuhr, sou-er ]


, sour·er, sour·est.
  1. having an acid taste, resembling that of vinegar, lemon juice, etc.; tart.

    Antonyms: sweet

  2. rendered acid or affected by fermentation; fermented.
  3. producing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is not bitter, salt, or sweet.
  4. characteristic of something fermented:

    a sour smell.

  5. distasteful or disagreeable; unpleasant.

    Synonyms: unsatisfactory, subpar, suboptimal, bitter

  6. below standard; poor:

    It was a sour effort all around, the kind of effort that doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

  7. harsh in spirit or temper; acrimonious; disagreeable; peevish.

    Synonyms: severe, crabbed, petulant, cross, touchy, testy

  8. Agriculture. (of soil) having excessive acidity.
  9. (of gasoline or the like) contaminated by sulfur compounds.
  10. Music. off-pitch; badly produced:

    a sour note.


  1. something that is sour.
  2. 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.
  3. any of various beers with a particularly acidic or tart taste, made so by acid-producing bacteria and yeast in the brew:

    Sours are a good choice to go with deep-fried bar food.

  4. an acid or an acidic substance used in laundering and bleaching to neutralize alkalis and to decompose residual soap or bleach.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become sour, rancid, mildewed, etc.; spoil:

    Milk sours quickly in warm weather. The laundry soured before it was ironed.

  2. to become unpleasant or strained; worsen; deteriorate:

    Relations between the two countries have soured.

  3. to become bitter, disillusioned, or disinterested:

    I guess I soured when I learned he was married.

    My loyalty soured after his last book.

  4. Agriculture. (of soil) to develop excessive acidity.

verb (used with object)

  1. to make sour; cause sourness in:

    What do they use to sour the mash?

  2. to cause spoilage in; rot:

    Defective cartons soured the apples.

  3. to make bitter, disillusioned, or disagreeable:

    One misadventure needn't have soured him. That swindle soured a great many potential investors.



/ ˈsaʊə /


  1. having or denoting a sharp biting taste like that of lemon juice or vinegar Compare bitter
  2. made acid or bad, as in the case of milk or alcohol, by the action of microorganisms
  3. having a rancid or unwholesome smell
  4. (of a person's temperament) sullen, morose, or disagreeable
  5. (esp of the weather or climate) harsh and unpleasant
  6. disagreeable; distasteful

    a sour experience

  7. (of land, etc) lacking in fertility, esp due to excessive acidity
  8. (of oil, gas, or petrol) containing a relatively large amount of sulphur compounds
  9. go sour or turn sour
    to become unfavourable or inharmonious

    his marriage went sour


  1. something sour
  2. any of several iced drinks usually made with spirits, lemon juice, and ice

    a whiskey sour

  3. an acid used in laundering and bleaching clothes or in curing animal skins


  1. to make or become sour



/ sʊə /


  1. a variant spelling of Sur

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Derived Forms

  • ˈsourish, adjective
  • ˈsourness, noun
  • ˈsourly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • sour·ish adjective
  • sour·ly adverb
  • sour·ness noun
  • o·ver·sour adjective
  • o·ver·sour·ly adverb
  • o·ver·sour·ness noun
  • un·sour adjective
  • un·sour·ly adverb
  • un·sour·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sour1

First recorded before 1000; Middle English adjective and noun sure, soure, Old English adjective sūr; cognate with German sauer, Dutch zuur, Old Norse sūrr

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sour1

Old English sūr; related to Old Norse sūrr, Lithuanian suras salty, Old Slavonic syrŭ wet, raw, surovu green, raw, Sanskrit surā brandy

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Example Sentences

Cut warm bread into wedges and serve with sour cream butter, enjoy immediately.

From Eater

While the conviction partly reflects the outsize returns from internet and software companies, it also highlights the danger should sentiment start to sour, he said.

From Fortune

And, investors that had previously soured on digitally-native consumer startups over concerns about high customer acquisition costs are starting to change their tune, given the huge growth these companies have seen over the past six months.

From Digiday

It potentially sours people’s views towards the sport’s integrity.

You visit the sour clerk at the coffee shop at which you are a regular.

He had already let his reputation sour—and his country down—so he paid up.

After a stint with a replacement Head Mistress went sour, R seriously considered shutting down La Domaine for good.

And research shows that sugar has a sour effect on mental health, too.

Light amber in color with a subtle sour finish, Fula is one of Casa Bruja's best sellers.

One strip, Foolish Grandpa and Sour Henry, shows Grandpa being hit on the head by a sandbag and blown up by dynamite.

And right after that, some nice sour milk would come splashing down into the trough of the pen.

As soon as he was in it Squinty ran over to the trough, hoping there would be some sour milk in it.

Why, he ordered his chamber-maid to bring him some soap and warm water, that he might wash the sour krout off his hands.

They affirmed it was an antidote to all poison; that it expelled rheums, sour humours, and obstructions of all kinds.

"Getting back home," answered Squinty, as he took a big drink of sour milk.


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