Acetous – Definition & Meaning

Acetous is an adjective that is used to describe something that has a sour taste or smell, similar to vinegar. It is a word that is not commonly used in everyday conversation but still has its place in the English language.


Acetous is defined as being sour or acidic in taste or smell. It is often used to describe the taste of vinegar or other acidic substances. It can also be used to describe the smell of certain foods or liquids, such as wine or spoiled milk.


The word acetous comes from the Latin word acetum, which means vinegar. The word has been in use in the English language since the 17th century.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to Merriam-Webster, acetous means “having the qualities of vinegar or acetic acid.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “having a sour taste or smell.”


Acetous is most commonly associated with vinegar, but it can also be used to describe the taste or smell of other acidic substances. It is often used in cooking to describe the flavor of certain dishes or to describe the acidity of a particular ingredient.


Some synonyms of acetous include sour, acidic, tart, tangy, pungent, and vinegary.


Antonyms of acetous include sweet, mild, bland, and tasteless.

The same root words

The word acetous comes from the Latin word acetum, which means vinegar. Other words that have the same root include acetic acid, acetate, and acetyl.

Example Sentences

  • The salad dressing had an acetous flavor that complemented the bitter greens.
  • The wine had an acetous smell, indicating that it had gone bad.
  • The chef added a splash of vinegar to the soup to give it an acetous tang.
  • The milk had turned sour and had a strong acetous odor.
  • The pickles had an acetous taste that made them perfect for sandwiches.
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