sour

sour, acid, acidulous, tart, dry mean having a taste devoid of sweetness. All but dry suggest the taste of lemons, vinegar, or of most unripe fruits. Sour and acid are often interchangeable, but sour is more likely to be chosen to describe something that through fermentation has lost its natural sweet or neutral taste or, sometimes, smell
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sour milk

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sour wine

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and the term may additionally suggest a spoiled or rancid state
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sour garbage

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Acid, on the other hand, is appropriately used to describe something having a sharp sweetless taste in its natural state usually due to the presence of chemical acids
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acid fruits

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acid drinks

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Acidulous and tart are applied, as a rule, to things which may be described as acid, acidulous implying a modest degree of acidity and tart, a sharp but often agreeable acidulousness or, sometimes, acidity
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some mineral waters are pleasantly acidulous

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most cooks prefer tart apples for pies and puddings

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Dry is usually applied to wines which, although without any sweetness, are bland and therefore neither definitely acid nor definitely sour.
In their extended senses sour applies especially to what is crabbed or morose
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a man with a prim sour mouth and an expression of eternal disapproval— Dahl

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and acidulous and tart to what is characterized by asperity, pungency, or sharpness
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tart temper never mellows with ageIrving

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what has been dull and dead in your years is now tart to the taste— Mailer

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said in acidulous jest that in Congress the South takes a recurrent and unending revenge in behalf of the long-dead Lee— W. S. White

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Acid, partly by allusion to the corrosive powers of some acids, is likely to describe what is biting or caustic
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his wit became acid; his letters are filled with caustic comment to sharpen the temper of those on the fighting line— Partington

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while dry may suggest matter-of-fact impersonal presentation of what is humorous, ironic, or sarcastic
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there seemed to be a faint tinge of appeal in his eyes, curiously contrasted with the dry tone and the mocking words— Wouk

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a story . . . dry and ironical in its beginning— Pritchett

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Analogous words: *bitter, acrid: *sharp, keen: morose, *sullen, glum, crabbed, saturnine, dour

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • sœur — [ sɶr ] n. f. • soer, sorur 1080; seror 1050; lat. soror 1 ♦ Personne de sexe féminin, considérée par rapport aux autres enfants des mêmes parents; ou encore d un même père (sœur consanguine) ou d une même mère (sœur utérine)(⇒ demi sœurdans ces… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • sour´ly — sour «sowr», adjective, verb, noun, adverb. –adj. 1. having a taste like that of vinegar or lemon juice; sharp and biting: »Most green fruit is sour. SYNONYM(S): acid, acidulous, tart. 2. fermented; acid as a result of fermentation; spoiled. Sour …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sour — [sour] adj. [ME soure < OE sur, akin to Ger sauer, ON sūrr < IE * suro , sour, salty > Latvian sũrs, salty, bitter] 1. having the sharp, acid taste of lemon juice, vinegar, green fruit, etc. 2. made acid or rank by or as by fermentation… …   English World dictionary

  • Sour — Sour, v. t. [AS. s?rian to sour, to become sour.] 1. To cause to become sour; to cause to turn from sweet to sour; as, exposure to the air sours many substances. [1913 Webster] So the sun s heat, with different powers, Ripens the grape, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sour — sour; sour·berry; sour·dine; sour·i·quois; sour·ish; sour·ly; sour·ness; sour·sob; vav·a·sour; …   English syllables

  • sour — Ⅰ. sour UK US /saʊər/ verb [I or T] ► to become, or cause to become, less pleasant, friendly, or successful: »Meeting clients unexpectedly can sour a relationship. »Loans are souring, as bankruptcies and the bad debts they leave behind keep… …   Financial and business terms

  • sour on — informal : having a bad opinion of (something) She was sour on politics in general. • • • Main Entry: ↑sour sour on [phrasal verb] sour on (something) or sour (someone) on (something …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sour — 〈[saʊər] m.; od. s, 〉 alkohol. Mixgetränk mit Zitronen od. Limonensaft ● Whisky Sour [<engl. sour „sauer“] * * * Sour   [sur], Stadt in Südlibanon, Sur. * * * Sour [ zauɐ, engl. saʊə], der; [s], s [engl. sour, eigtl. = sauer]: stark… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • sour — ► ADJECTIVE 1) having a sharp taste like lemon or vinegar. 2) tasting or smelling rancid from fermentation or staleness. 3) resentful, bitter, or angry. ► NOUN ▪ a cocktail made by mixing a spirit with lemon or lime juice. ► VERB ▪ make or become …   English terms dictionary

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