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See also: sour-



Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English sour, from Old English sūr (sour), from Proto-Germanic *sūraz (sour), from Proto-Indo-European *suH-ro- (sour). Cognate with West Frisian soer, Dutch zuur (sour), Low German suur, German sauer (sour), Danish, Swedish and Norwegian sur, French sur (sour), Faroese súrur (sour), Icelandic súr (sour, bitter).



sour (comparative sourer, superlative sourest)

  1. Having an acidic, sharp or tangy taste.
    Lemons have a sour taste.
    • Francis Bacon
      All sour things, as vinegar, provoke appetite.
  2. Made rancid by fermentation, etc.
    sour milk
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. Tasting or smelling rancid.
    sour stink
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. Peevish or bad-tempered.
    He gave me a sour look.
    • Shakespeare
      He was a scholar [] / Lofty and sour to them that loved him not, / But to those men that sought him sweet as summer.
  5. (of soil) Excessively acidic and thus infertile.
    sour land
    a sour marsh
  6. (of petroleum) Containing excess sulfur.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  7. Unfortunate or unfavorable.
    • Shakespeare
      sour adversity
    • 2011 October 1, Phil Dawkes, “Sunderland 2 - 2 West Brom”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      The result may not quite give the Wearsiders a sweet ending to what has been a sour week, following allegations of sexual assault and drug possession against defender Titus Bramble, but it does at least demonstrate that their spirit remains strong in the face of adversity.
  8. (music) Off-pitch, out of tune.
    • 2010, Aniruddh D. Patel, Music, Language, and the Brain, page 201:
      Unlike what the name implies, there is nothing inherently wrong with a sour note: It is perfectly well-tuned note that would sound normal in another context (and which presumably would not sound sour to someone unfamiliar with tonal music).


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


sour (countable and uncountable, plural sours)

  1. The sensation of a sour taste.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  2. A drink made with whiskey, lemon or lime juice and sugar.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (by extension) Any cocktail containing lemon or lime juice.
  4. A sour or acid substance; whatever produces a painful effect.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Edmund Spenser to this entry?)

Derived termsEdit



sour (third-person singular simple present sours, present participle souring, simple past and past participle soured)

  1. (transitive) To make sour.
    Too much lemon juice will sour the recipe.
  2. (intransitive) To become sour.
    • Jonathan Swift
      So the sun's heat, with different powers, / Ripens the grape, the liquor sours.
  3. (transitive) To spoil or mar; to make disenchanted.
  4. (intransitive) To become disenchanted.
    We broke up after our relationship soured.
  5. (transitive) To make (soil) cold and unproductive.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mortimer to this entry?)
  6. To macerate (lime) and render it fit for plaster or mortar.





sour (feminine singular soure, masculine plural sours, feminine plural soures)

  1. Eye dialect spelling of sûr.



  1. Eye dialect spelling of sur.


Alternative formsEdit

  • (Rumantsch Grischun, Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran) sora


From Latin soror, from Proto-Indo-European *swésōr.


sour f (plural sours)

  1. (Puter, Vallader) sister

Coordinate termsEdit

  • (in terms of gender):
    • (Rumantsch Grischun, Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Vallader) frar
    • (Puter) frer