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acidic, mild, gentle, soothing


GRE 14 (Graduate Record Examination), Frustration and Exasperation, Criticism and Censure



How to pronounce vitriolic (audio)


Dictionary definition of vitriolic

Characterized by strong, bitter, and caustic language or behavior.
"She received vitriolic hate mail in response to her controversial opinion piece."

Detailed meaning of vitriolic

It is often used to depict speech, writing, or criticism that is marked by intense hostility, spitefulness, or malice. When something is described as vitriolic, it suggests a level of venom and acidic tone that is intended to attack, belittle, or harm the target. This adjective is commonly used to describe verbal or written expressions of anger, disdain, or deep-seated resentment. Vitriolic language tends to be harsh, cutting, and filled with personal attacks. It can be seen in heated debates, acrimonious social media exchanges, or scathing critiques. The term "vitriolic" derives from the word "vitriol," which historically referred to a highly corrosive substance, thus reflecting the corrosive and destructive nature of the language or behavior it describes.

Example sentences containing vitriolic

1. He unleashed a vitriolic attack on his political opponent during the debate.
2. Her vitriolic remarks left a lasting impact on the audience.
3. The article was filled with vitriolic criticism of the author's work.
4. The comment section of the post turned into a vitriolic exchange of insults.
5. The vitriolic tone of his speech alienated many of his supporters.
6. The online forum became a breeding ground for vitriolic comments and personal attacks.

History and etymology of vitriolic

The adjective 'vitriolic' has its etymological origins in the word 'vitriol,' which comes from Latin and Old French. In Latin, 'vitriolum' referred to various sulfate minerals, including green vitriol (iron sulfate) and blue vitriol (copper sulfate). Over time, 'vitriol' came to symbolize bitterness and harshness, likely due to the corrosive properties of these compounds. In Old French, 'vitriol' was associated with harsh criticism or caustic language. In modern English, 'vitriolic' is used to describe language or behavior that is characterized by strong, bitter, and caustic qualities, often directed at someone or something with intense hostility or criticism. The etymology of 'vitriolic' thus underscores its historical association with the corrosive properties of vitriol and its contemporary use to describe verbally corrosive or acrimonious expressions.

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Further usage examples of vitriolic

1. The political campaign was marred by vitriolic advertisements targeting opponents.
2. The talk show host's vitriolic rant sparked a heated discussion among viewers.
3. The critic's review of the film was scathing and vitriolic.
4. The social media influencer faced backlash for her vitriolic remarks about a particular community.
5. The vitriolic response from fans shocked the celebrity, who had shared a harmless opinion.
6. The vitriolic outburst during the meeting created a hostile atmosphere.
7. The politician's vitriolic tweets drew widespread condemnation from the public.
8. The journalist faced vitriolic backlash for exposing a controversial issue.
9. The vitriolic letter to the editor attacked the writer personally rather than addressing the argument.
10. The CEO's vitriolic email to employees created a toxic work environment.
11. The artist faced vitriolic criticism from art critics who questioned the validity of their work.
12. The vitriolic speech incited anger and outrage among the audience.
13. The vitriolic tone of their conversation escalated into a full-blown argument.
14. Her vitriolic comments during the argument hurt everyone's feelings.
15. The vitriolic review of the film left the director disheartened.
16. The debate took a vitriolic turn as both candidates attacked each other.
17. He unleashed a vitriolic tirade against his former business partner.
18. Social media can sometimes be a breeding ground for vitriolic exchanges.
19. The vitriolic criticism of the new policy was relentless.
20. She responded to the online trolls with wit rather than vitriolic words.
21. The vitriolic tone of their discussion escalated into a heated argument.
22. The professor's vitriolic lecture left a lasting impression on the students.
23. It's best to avoid vitriolic arguments in professional settings.
24. The vitriolic rivalry between the two teams intensified with each match.

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