1. a sour liquid consisting of dilute and impure acetic acid, obtained by acetous fermentation from wine, cider, beer, ale, or the like: used as a condiment, preservative, etc.
  2. Pharmacology. a solution of a medicinal substance in dilute acetic acid, or vinegar.
  3. sour or irritable speech, manner, or countenance: a note of vinegar in his voice.
  4. Informal. vigor; high spirits; vim.


  1. a sour-tasting liquid consisting of impure dilute acetic acid, made by oxidation of the ethyl alcohol in beer, wine, or cider. It is used as a condiment or preservative
  2. sourness or peevishness of temper, countenance, speech, etc
  3. pharmacol a medicinal solution in dilute acetic acid
  4. US and Canadian informal vitality


  1. (tr) to apply vinegar to

c.1300, from Old French vinaigre, from vin “wine” (from Latin vinum; see wine) + aigre “sour” (see eager). In Latin, it was vinum acetum “wine turned sour;” cf. also Greek oxos “wine vinegar,” which is related to oxys “sharp” (see acrid).


  1. An impure dilute solution of acetic acid obtained by fermentation beyond the alcohol stage and used as a preservative.

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