1. A sour liquid containing acetic acid, produced by fermenting a solution (such as wine or fermented rice) containing ethanol produced by a previous fermentation, used as a condiment and preservative.
2. Sourness of speech or mood; ill temper.
3. Liveliness and enthusiasm; vim.
[Middle English vinegre, from Old French vinaigre : vin, wine (from Latin vīnum) + aigre, sour (from Vulgar Latin *acrus, from Latin ācer; see ak- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.