Sour grapes
Sour Sour, a. [Compar. {Sourer}; superl. {Sourest}.] [OE. sour, sur, AS. s?r; akin to D. zuur, G. sauer, OHG. s?r, Icel. s?rr, Sw. sur, Dan. suur, Lith. suras salt, Russ. surovui harsh, rough. Cf. {Sorrel}, the plant.] 1. Having an acid or sharp, biting taste, like vinegar, and the juices of most unripe fruits; acid; tart. [1913 Webster]

All sour things, as vinegar, provoke appetite. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

2. Changed, as by keeping, so as to be acid, rancid, or musty, turned. [1913 Webster]

3. Disagreeable; unpleasant; hence; cross; crabbed; peevish; morose; as, a man of a sour temper; a sour reply. ``A sour countenance.'' --Swift. [1913 Webster]

He was a scholar . . . Lofty and sour to them that loved him not, But to those men that sought him sweet as summer. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. Afflictive; painful. ``Sour adversity.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. Cold and unproductive; as, sour land; a sour marsh. [1913 Webster]

{Sour dock} (Bot.), sorrel.

{Sour gourd} (Bot.), the gourdlike fruit {Adansonia Gregorii}, and {A. digitata}; also, either of the trees bearing this fruit. See {Adansonia}.

{Sour grapes}. See under {Grape}.

{Sour gum} (Bot.) See {Turelo}.

{Sour plum} (Bot.), the edible acid fruit of an Australian tree ({Owenia venosa}); also, the tree itself, which furnished a hard reddish wood used by wheelwrights. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Acid; sharp; tart; acetous; acetose; harsh; acrimonious; crabbed; currish; peevish. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sour grapes — is an expression originating from the Aesop Fable The Fox and the Grapes, meaning to deny desire for something one cannot attain.Sour grapes may also refer to: * Sour Grapes (film), a 1998 film written and directed by Larry David * Sour Grapes… …   Wikipedia

  • sour grapes — noun uncount criticism of something that you make because you are annoyed that you cannot have it: Saying the award is meaningless is just sour grapes …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sour grapes — When someone says something critical or negative because they are jealous, it is a case of sour grapes …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • sour grapes — sour′ grapes′ n. pretended disdain for something one does not or cannot have • Etymology: 1750–60; in allusion to Aesop s fable concerning the fox who dismissed as sour those grapes he could not reach …   From formal English to slang

  • sour grapes — ► sour grapes an attitude in which someone pretends to despise something because they cannot have it themselves. [ORIGIN: with allusion to Aesop s fable The Fox and the Grapes.] Main Entry: ↑sour …   English terms dictionary

  • sour grapes — n. [from Aesop s fable in which the fox, after futile efforts to reach some grapes, scorns them as being sour] a scorning or belittling of something only because it cannot be had or done …   English World dictionary

  • sour grapes — noun disparagement of something that is unattainable • Hypernyms: ↑disparagement, ↑depreciation, ↑derogation * * * noun plural Etymology: so called from the fable ascribed to Aesop, legendary 6th century B.C. Greek author of fables, about the fox …   Useful english dictionary

  • sour grapes —    When someone says something critical or negative because they are jealous, it is a case of sour grapes.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    To say that someone s attitude is sour grapes means that they are trying to make others believe… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • sour grapes — Meaning Acting meanly after a disappointment. Origin From The Bible, Old Testament, Ezekiel xviii. 2 The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children s teeth are set on edge . In Aesop s fable The Fox and the Grapes the fox isn t able to… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • Sour grapes — Grape Grape, n. [OF. grape, crape, bunch or cluster of grapes, F. grappe, akin to F. grappin grapnel, hook; fr. OHG. chrapfo hook, G. krapfen, akin to E. cramp. The sense seems to have come from the idea of clutching. Cf. {Agraffe}, {Cramp},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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