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sour

[souuh r, sou-er] /saʊər, ˈsaʊ ər/
adjective, sourer, sourest.
1.
having an acid taste, resembling that of vinegar, lemon juice, etc.; tart.
2.
rendered acid or affected by fermentation; fermented.
3.
producing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is not bitter, salt, or sweet.
4.
characteristic of something fermented:
a sour smell.
5.
distasteful or disagreeable; unpleasant.
6.
below standard; poor.
7.
harsh in spirit or temper; austere; morose; peevish.
8.
Agriculture. (of soil) having excessive acidity.
9.
(of gasoline or the like) contaminated by sulfur compounds.
10.
Music. off-pitch; badly produced:
a sour note.
noun
11.
something that is sour.
12.
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.
13.
an acid or an acidic substance used in laundering and bleaching to neutralize alkalis and to decompose residual soap or bleach.
verb (used without object)
14.
to become sour, rancid, mildewed, etc.; spoil:
Milk sours quickly in warm weather. The laundry soured before it was ironed.
15.
to become unpleasant or strained; worsen; deteriorate:
Relations between the two countries have soured.
16.
to become bitter, disillusioned, or disinterested:
I guess I soured when I learned he was married. My loyalty soured after his last book.
17.
Agriculture. (of soil) to develop excessive acidity.
verb (used with object)
18.
to make sour; cause sourness in:
What do they use to sour the mash?
19.
to cause spoilage in; rot:
Defective cartons soured the apples.
20.
to make bitter, disillusioned, or disagreeable:
One misadventure needn't have soured him. That swindle soured a great many potential investors.
Origin
1000
before 1000; (adj. and noun) Middle English sure, soure, Old English sūr (orig. adj.); cognate with German sauer, Dutch zuur, Old Norse sūrr; (v.) Middle English souren, derivative of the adj.
Related forms
sourish, adjective
sourly, adverb
sourness, noun
oversour, adjective
oversourly, adverb
oversourness, noun
unsour, adjective
unsourly, adverb
unsourness, noun
Synonyms
5. bitter. 7. severe, testy, touchy, acrimonious, cross, petulant, crabbed.
Antonyms
1. sweet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sour
  • For as tasty as that sweet-and-sour pork may be, eating meat is an incredibly inefficient way to feed oneself.
  • The compounds had no effect on salty, sour, bitter or umami tasting.
  • All of them remained keen, even when credit markets turned sour.
  • Food comes in four flavors: sweet, sour, bitter and salty.
  • Producing barrel-aged sour beer is a long, expensive gamble.
  • But the current insularity was in place before the economy went sour.
  • Mix sour cream with flour and stir in with the sauce.
  • Both sweet and sour cherries are appealing choices for the home garden.
  • Such deals have a way of turning sour because of disputes over details.
  • Ants have a lemony snap, though some are sour and vinegary.
British Dictionary definitions for sour

sour

/ˈsaʊə/
adjective
1.
having or denoting a sharp biting taste like that of lemon juice or vinegar Compare bitter (sense 1)
2.
made acid or bad, as in the case of milk or alcohol, by the action of microorganisms
3.
having a rancid or unwholesome smell
4.
(of a person's temperament) sullen, morose, or disagreeable
5.
(esp of the weather or climate) harsh and unpleasant
6.
disagreeable; distasteful: a sour experience
7.
(of land, etc) lacking in fertility, esp due to excessive acidity
8.
(of oil, gas, or petrol) containing a relatively large amount of sulphur compounds
9.
go sour, turn sour, to become unfavourable or inharmonious: his marriage went sour
noun
10.
something sour
11.
(mainly US) any of several iced drinks usually made with spirits, lemon juice, and ice: a whiskey sour
12.
an acid used in laundering and bleaching clothes or in curing animal skins
verb
13.
to make or become sour
Derived Forms
sourish, adjective
sourly, adverb
sourness, noun
Word Origin
Old English sūr; related to Old Norse sūrr, Lithuanian suras salty, Old Slavonic syrŭ wet, raw, surovu green, raw, Sanskrit surā brandy

Sour

/sʊə/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of Sur

Sur

/sʊə/
noun
1.
transliteration of the Arabic name for Tyre
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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Word Origin and History for sour
adj.

Old English sur "sour, tart, acid, fermented," from Proto-Germanic *sura- "sour" (cf. Old Norse surr, Middle Dutch suur, Dutch zuur, Old High German sur, German Sauer), from PIE root *suro- "sour, salty, bitter" (cf. Old Church Slavonic syru, Russian syroi "moist, raw;" Lithuanian suras "salty," suris "cheese").

French sur "sour, tart" (12c.) is a Germanic loan-word. Meaning :having a peevish disposition" is from early 13c. Sense in whisky sour (1885) is "with lemon added" (1862). Sour cream is attested from 1855.

v.

c.1300, from sour (adj.). Cf. Old High German suren, German säuern. Related: Soured; souring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sour

sour

Related Terms

go sour


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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