of, relating to, or resembling vitriol.
obtained from vitriol.
very caustic; scathing: vitriolic criticism.

Origin of vitriolic

First recorded in 1660–70; vitriol + -ic
Related formsnon·vit·ri·ol·ic, adjective

Synonyms for vitriolic

Antonyms for vitriolic

3. bland, mild. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vitriolic

Contemporary Examples of vitriolic

Historical Examples of vitriolic

  • He let loose some vitriolic verbiage, using Drake as the objective-point.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • Even that place of security did not, however, save him from her vitriolic tongue.

    Mam' Lyddy's Recognition

    Thomas Nelson Page

  • But Casey got him outside and administered a vitriolic lecture that had some effect.

    Desert Conquest

    A. M. Chisholm

  • Proclamations blossomed on every tree, couched in vitriolic language.

    The Eternal Boy

    Owen Johnson

  • She was in one of her vitriolic moods now because of the Lusitania.

    The Cup of Fury

    Rupert Hughes

British Dictionary definitions for vitriolic



(of a substance, esp a strong acid) highly corrosive
severely bitter or caustic; virulentvitriolic criticism
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

Word Origin and History for vitriolic

1660s, from French vitriolique (16c.) or from vitriol + -ic. Figurative use by 1841.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper