of the nature of or resembling vinegar; sour; acid: a vinegary taste.
having a disagreeable character or manner; crabbed; ill-tempered: a vinegary person.

Origin of vinegary

First recorded in 1720–30; vinegar + -y1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vinegary

Historical Examples of vinegary

  • It's out of favour I am with the vinegary virgins over the way.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • "You seem to be alone in your opinion," said the Baron with his vinegary smile.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • There was one vinegary old maid to whom he applied who gave me a cold chill.

    Step Lively!

    George Niblo

  • Falk clasped a hand, hard as a beetle, and received a vinegary smile.

    The Red Room

    August Strindberg

  • The little girls actually point to me with furtive, vinegary glances, for they are more ingenuously hypocritical than women.


    Magdeleine Marx

British Dictionary definitions for vinegary



containing vinegar; tasting of or like vinegar
bad-tempered, sour, or peevish
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