Definition of vitriol in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvɪtrɪəl/


[mass noun]
1Bitter criticism or malice: her mother’s sudden gush of fury and vitriol
More example sentences
  • You couldn't mention one to the other without splenetic vitriol pouring out.
  • It's something of a disappointment when you had been hoping for a tirade of vitriol against humanity.
  • The vitriol rolled off his tongue for nearly 20 minutes.
2 archaic or literary Sulphuric acid: it was as if his words were spraying vitriol on her face
More example sentences
  • Thus was devised an apparently skillful method of deflecting his perceived humiliation, which in reality is no humiliation at all, by pouring vitriol on the nation lest his own face catch fire.
  • Spectacularly well-timed, I agree, but unfortunately I spilt all my vitriol on another carpet, so I can't reproduce it with the same passion here.
2.1In names of metallic sulphates, e.g. blue vitriol (copper sulphate) and green vitriol (ferrous sulphate).


Late Middle English (denoting the sulphate of various metals): from Old French, or from medieval Latin vitriolum, from Latin vitrum 'glass'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vit|riol

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