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: It was a sour effort all around, the kind of effort that doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
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.
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.
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 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.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sour in a sentence
Following the same principle, you can reduce the intensity of a sweet dessert by adding a sour contrasting element.There’s a science to food pairing, and you can learn it here | Peter Coucquyt, Bernard Lahousse, and Johan Langenbick | October 22, 2020 | Popular-Science
It can be purchased online or in some grocery stores in the canning section under the name “sour salt.”The scientific way to make perfectly creamy fondue | By Pat Polowsky/Saveur | October 2, 2020 | Popular-Science
After Jared became CEO in 2008, the company turned its ambitions to high-profile commercial properties in New York City, a foray that turned sour.The Kushners’ Freddie Mac Loan Wasn’t Just Massive. It Came With Unusually Good Terms, Too. | by Heather Vogell | October 1, 2020 | ProPublica
For my part, I took the sour grapes route and decided that it was better to be in New York.
His stance soured his relationships with friends such as George Washington, a lifelong neighbor, and he never ran for president, unlike other fellow Virginians and Founding Fathers Jefferson and James Madison.Thank This Forgotten Founding Father for Your ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ | Nick Fouriezos | September 27, 2020 | Ozy
As the economy soured, Californians began to think in terms of limited resources and came to see migration as a zero sum game.Careful What You Wish For: Here’s What California Would Look Like Without Illegal Immigrants | Ruben Navarrette Jr. | September 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Since its inception, Hamas has had close ties with Iran, but relations soured when civil war broke out in Syria.A Who’s Who of Iran’s Favorite Palestinian Terrorists | IranWire | August 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
According to De Jesus, ICE management soured on Arambula for reasons that he did not make clear during his testimony.
The relationship between the partners soured and devolved into ugly squabbling and litigation.New Jersey Political Boss Loses Control Of Newspaper | Olivia Nuzzi | May 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But her mood soured, she says, when another airman made an inappropriate sexual comment.Spies, Lies, and Rape in the Air Force: An Undercover Agent's Story | Jacob Siegel | March 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He pictured himself as an old grouch, soured on the world, and surely uncompanionable.David Lannarck, Midget | George S. Harney
The praises lavished upon her were honestly won—too much would have satiated, not spoiled—the utter absence of reward soured her.Alone | Marion Harland
The Creeks came west, soured and disappointed, and but little disposed for the effort before them.The Indian in his Wigwam | Henry R. Schoolcraft
"They seem to have soured the disposition of the Tide Mill," ventured Sylvia.The Opened Shutters | Clara Louise Burnham
His wholly sweet spirit could not be soured by the injustices and insolences that came into his life.The Stones of Paris in History and Letters, Volume I (of 2) | Benjamin Ellis Martin
British Dictionary definitions for sour (1 of 2)
having or denoting a sharp biting taste like that of lemon juice or vinegar: Compare 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; distasteful: a 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 inharmonious: his marriage went sour
mainly US any of several iced drinks usually made with spirits, lemon juice, and ice: a whiskey sour
an acid used in laundering and bleaching clothes or in curing animal skins
to make or become sour
- sourish, adjective
- sourly, adverb
- sourness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for Sour (2 of 2)
a variant spelling of Sur
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