Sour liquid consisting mainly of
acetic acid and water, produced by the action of
bacteria on dilute solutions of ethyl alcohol
derived from previous yeast fermentation. The
coloring and flavoring are characteristic of the
alcoholic liquor (as cider, beer, wine,
fermented fruit juices, solutions of barley
malt, hydrolyzed cereals, starches, or sugars)
from which the vinegar is made.
Vinegar is used as a salad dressing, a
preservative, a household remedy to allay
irritations, a mild disinfectant, and, in
cooking, as a fiber softener.
Vinegar has been known from antiquity as a
natural byproduct of wine; the name is derived
from the French vinaigre [sour wine].
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