Meaning of vinegar in English:



mass noun
  • 1A sour-tasting liquid containing acetic acid, obtained by fermenting dilute alcoholic liquids, typically wine, cider, or beer, and used as a condiment or for pickling.

    • ‘In southern Europe wine vinegar is the norm, for example, while in northern Europe malt, cider, and distilled vinegars predominate, and in the Far East rice vinegar is most usual.’
    • ‘It also gives its name to tarragon vinegar, one of the best-known flavoured vinegars.’
    • ‘When fully incorporated, add the capers, parsley, the vinegars and the water.’
    • ‘Fungi are important for baking breads and fermenting wines, beers and vinegars.’
    • ‘On one corner of the square, you step into the Maille boutique, where the black and gold emblazoned company sells its world-famous mustards and vinegars.’
    • ‘Combine the ketchup, vinegars, apple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic powder, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and bacon bits in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.’
    • ‘He explained how the producer transfers a fraction of the vinegar from the younger barrels into the older barrels every year, which is why the age of a bottle of vinegar is only an average, being a mix of older and younger vinegars.’
    • ‘Gooseberries make delicious pies, jams and jellies as well as chutneys, sauces, fruit vinegars and wine, and can be preserved easily by canning or freezing.’
    • ‘Similarly, vinegars can range from wine and cider to wonderfully fruity ones such as blackcurrant, strawberry and (my favourite) raspberry.’
    • ‘Light salad dressings, herbs, spices, flavored vinegars, salsas and olive oil can add zest to your meals.’
    • ‘Described as a liquid deli, it stocks whisky, olive oil, vinegars and liqueurs, and all in beautiful refillable bottles.’
    • ‘There are many wine-based vinegars on the market now.’
    • ‘The authors of this particular fantasy neglect to mention that Russian Tarragon is not used in GOOD sauces, vinegars and salads.’
    • ‘You can make herb vinegars for salad dressings, marinades, or soups.’
    • ‘Use tart vinegars, spicy chiles, savory miso paste, or aromatic herbs to make food more exciting.’
    • ‘Use fresh basil leaves for maximum flavor in tomato sauces, salads, vinegars, and eggs, and on lamb, fish, and poultry.’
    • ‘Since bold vinegars make wines taste harsh, use softer vinegars in dressings.’
    • ‘He keeps the larger condiments such as cooking oil and vinegars in a wall cabinet opposite the cooking range.’
    • ‘Flavored vinegars and oils add an extra kick to marinades, sauces, and dressings.’
    • ‘Suggestions for a gourmet garden include many plants common in mediaeval times such as sweet Cicily, scented geraniums, lovage and lavender, apparently a marvellous seasoning for vinegars and home-made ice cream.’
    • ‘And to clean brass curtain rings, soak them in a hot water and vinegar solution, then buff dry.’
    marinade, brine, vinegar
    1. 1.1Sourness or peevishness of behaviour, character, or speech.
      ‘her aggrieved tone held a touch of vinegar’
      • ‘Lady Catherine de Bourgh would turn a saint's milk of human kindness to vinegar.’
      • ‘I’ll confess: the sharp vinegar of bad temper surged up inside me.’
      • ‘Then next day the boy, who was very strongly recommended by the carpet seller's vinegar tongued wife; arrived with his friend’


Middle English from Old French vyn egre, based on Latin vinum ‘wine’ + acer ‘sour’.