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
Any tart filling, such as this brightly sour roasted cranberry mixture, pairs beautifully with pillowy, sweet meringue.Tart roasted cranberries and a billowy meringue topping take this pie in a bright, bold direction | Erin Jeanne McDowell | November 12, 2020 | Washington Post
It’s a classic, balanced, not too dark and not too sour crowd-pleaser.Now You Can Steep Your Coffee Like Tea—and It's Awesome | AC Shilton | November 11, 2020 | Outside Online
When savory, a dollop of sour cream-like natilla is usually served on top.Everything You Need to Know About Costa Rican Food | Nicholas Gill | November 11, 2020 | Eater
He has a knack for picking out perfectly ripe fruit, so there’s rarely a dry or sour orange on the plate, but at my parents’ house, oranges are only ever eaten raw.Harness the bright sweetness of oranges in these 7 recipes | Kari Sonde | November 9, 2020 | Washington Post
Sample a comfort beer, such as the oatmeal raisin cookie stout, or if you need an energy boost, try a sour beer with electrolytes, such as War Goose.In Delaware, a new Instagram-friendly driving trail spotlights local artists and sites | Andrea Sachs | November 6, 2020 | Washington Post
Frustrated by her souring relationship with Salinger, Maynard fixated on the idea of having a daughter.
Political independents are also souring on Obama, with just 37 percent approving of his job performance, a 10-point drop.In Wake of Surveillance Stories, Barack Obama’s Poll Numbers Plummet | John Avlon | June 17, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Of the high hopes that characterize the Western Aliyah (immigration) souring so dramatically, so brutally.
Why are voters—especially Independent voters—suddenly souring on Romney?Mitt Romney’s Unfavorable Ratings Have Been Rising Since Iowa | Andrew Romano | February 1, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
And then—five days later, with the polls showing Americans souring on the Lebanon policy—Reagan decided to pull the troops out.
In the souring of canned sweet corn, it is exceptional that the ends are forced outward.Detection of the Common Food Adulterants | Edwin M. Bruce
To prevent milk from souring, dishonest milk dealers often put into it such preservatives as soda, borax, and formaldehyde.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 2 | Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
It may be conceded to him that circumstances had been of a souring character.All on the Irish Shore | E. Somerville and Martin Ross
Again, slow cooling gives more time for this oxydation to go on, and thus "ripen" the cream for churning without souring it.Hints on Dairying | T. D. Curtis
They are universally present in milk and are commonly the greatest causal agent in its souring.The Book of Cheese | Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk
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