Meaning of “sour” in the English Dictionary

"sour" in British English

See all translations


uk /saʊər/ us /saʊr/
adverb uk /ˈsaʊə.li/ us /ˈsaʊ
noun [ U ] uk /ˈsaʊə.nəs/ us /ˈsaʊr.nəs/


sourverb [ I or T ]

uk /saʊər/ us /saʊr/

sournoun [ C ]

uk /saʊər/ us /saʊr/ mainly US

(Definition of “sour” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sour" in American English

See all translations


us /sɑʊər/

sour adjective (TASTE)

(esp. of food) having a sharp taste:

The four basic tastes are sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

sour adjective (UNPLEASANT)

unfriendly or unpleasant in manner or attitude:

The team’s perfect season went/turned sour after they lost their second straight game.


us /sɑʊər/

sour verb (TASTE)

[ I ] to become sour:

I’m afraid the milk has soured.

sour verb (UNPLEASANT)

[ I/T ] to become bad or unpleasant, or cause someone to feel bad or unhappy:

[ I ] When the economy soured, donations to the charity dried up.

(Definition of “sour” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"sour" in Business English

See all translations

sourverb [ I or T ]

uk /saʊər/ us

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 mounting.
a market/economy sours Companies and families spend less on travel when the economy sours.


uk /saʊər/ us

no longer successful or pleasant:

sour economy/market The economic slump was caused primarily by a sour housing market.
go sour

to fail or become unpleasant:

Year-end is traditionally when many investors decide whether to sell stocks that have gone sour.

(Definition of “sour” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)