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sour grapes

plural noun
1.
pretended disdain for something one does not or cannot have:
She said that she and her husband didn't want to join the club anyway, but it was clearly sour grapes.
Origin of sour grapes
1750-1760
1750-60; in allusion to Aesop's fable concerning the fox who, in an effort to save face, dismissed as sour those grapes he could not reach
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sour grapes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In these days when motors are as plentiful as mortgages this may appear but discontented destitution, the cry of sour grapes.

    Journeys to Bagdad Charles S. Brooks
  • I ain't much to spend, and mebbe that sounds some like sour grapes.

    Friendship Village Zona Gale
  • If a woman were to take that position she would be accused of 'sour grapes,' wouldn't she?

    The Bachelors William Dana Orcutt
  • Which wise dictum might or might not be based on the fox's opinion as to sour grapes.

    The Firebrand S. R. Crockett
  • The father's sour grapes had not set these children's teeth on edge.

    Girlhood and Womanhood Sarah Tytler
  • I ate the sour grapes in my youth, and my teeth must be on edge for ever and ever.

  • As Chateaubriand had no children, the most natural comment on the last branch of his remark is "sour grapes."

British Dictionary definitions for sour grapes

sour grapes

noun
1.
(functioning as sing) the attitude of affecting to despise something because one cannot or does not have it oneself
Word Origin
from a fable by Aesop
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
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Idioms and Phrases with sour grapes

sour grapes

Disparaging what one cannot obtain, as in The losers' scorn for the award is pure sour grapes. This expression alludes to the Greek writer Aesop's famous fable about a fox that cannot reach some grapes on a high vine and announces that they are sour. In English the fable was first recorded in William Caxton's 1484 translation, “The fox said these raisins be sour.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for sour

4
5
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