Definition of VINEGARY

VINEGARY Adjective

Vinegary is an adjective that describes something having the sour or acidic taste characteristic of vinegar. It refers to the tartness or tanginess reminiscent of vinegar, often used to describe flavors or aromas that evoke the sensation of acidity.

Culinary Descriptions: In culinary contexts, vinegary describes foods or dishes that exhibit a pronounced sourness similar to that of vinegar. It may refer to salad dressings, sauces, pickles, or other preparations that feature a prominent acidic flavor profile, imparting a tangy zestiness to the overall taste experience.

Flavor Profile: The term vinegary is used to denote the presence of acetic acid or acidic compounds in a food or beverage, contributing to its sharp, pungent, or biting taste sensation. It is often associated with freshness, brightness, and a palate-cleansing quality that enhances the enjoyment of certain foods.

Aroma and Scent: Beyond taste, vinegary can also describe the aroma or scent of foods that carry the characteristic tangy fragrance reminiscent of vinegar. This may include fermented foods, salad ingredients, or culinary preparations where the aroma of acidity is notable and distinctive.

Food Pairings: When used in describing food, vinegary suggests compatibility with ingredients or dishes that complement or balance its sourness. It may indicate an affinity for pairing with ingredients such as fresh herbs, sweet fruits, rich meats, or creamy textures to create harmonious flavor combinations.

Fermented and Pickled Foods: Many fermented or pickled foods exhibit a vinegary flavor profile due to the presence of acetic acid produced during the fermentation process. This includes foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and certain types of cheeses, where the tangy acidity enhances their culinary appeal.

Quality and Freshness: In culinary assessments, vinegary can connote the presence of acidity as a marker of quality, freshness, or proper fermentation in certain foods. It may indicate the desirable level of tartness or zinginess that adds depth and complexity to a dish without overwhelming other flavors.

Balanced Acidity: While vinegary describes the sourness or acidity of a food or beverage, it also implies a sense of balance and proportion in its flavor profile. A well-executed vinegary taste should be pleasantly tart or tangy, without being overly sharp or astringent, contributing to a satisfying culinary experience.

In conclusion, vinegary describes the sour or acidic taste reminiscent of vinegar, commonly encountered in culinary preparations, fermented foods, and pickled delicacies. Whether describing flavors, aromas, or food pairings, the term evokes a sense of tartness and zestiness that adds dimension and vibrancy to the dining experience.

Examples of VINEGARY in a sentence

  • The salad dressing had a strong vinegary taste, which some found too tart.
  • She wrinkled her nose at the vinegary smell emanating from the bottle of pickles.
  • The chef added a splash of vinegary sauce to the dish to give it a tangy flavor.
  • The marinade for the chicken included vinegary ingredients like lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
  • The vinegary odor of the cleaning solution filled the air as she scrubbed the kitchen floor.
  • The sauce had a perfect balance of sweetness and vinegary acidity, complementing the grilled fish.
  • His critique of the wine was that it was too vinegary for his taste, lacking complexity.
  • The homemade barbecue sauce had a bold, vinegary kick that pleased the guests at the cookout.

Origin of VINEGARY

The word vinegary has its etymology rooted in the noun “vinegar.” Here’s a breakdown of its origin:

  • Base Word: Vinegar: Vinegary is derived from the noun “vinegar,” which comes from the Old French word “vinaigre,” meaning “sour wine.” This, in turn, traces back to the Latin words “vinum” (wine) and “acer” (sour).
  • Adjective Formation: The suffix “-y” is often added to nouns to form adjectives, indicating a quality or characteristic associated with the base word. In this case, vinegary denotes something that is similar to or has the characteristics of vinegar.
  • Semantic Meaning: Vinegary is used to describe flavors, odors, or tastes that resemble or evoke the sharp, sour quality of vinegar. It implies acidity and tartness, similar to that found in vinegar.

Overall, the etymology of vinegary is straightforward, with its formation based on the noun “vinegar” and the addition of the adjective-forming suffix “-y.” It retains the association with acidity and sourness inherent in vinegar.


  • Sour
  • Tart
  • Acidic
  • Acrid
  • Astringent
  • Pungent
  • Sharp
  • Tangy


  • Sweet
  • Mild
  • Mellow
  • Pleasant
  • Subtle
  • Delicate
  • Soft
  • Sugary


  • Vinegar
  • Sourness
  • Acidity
  • Pickling
  • Fermentation
  • Tanginess
  • Astringency
  • Piquancy

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