• WordNet 3.6
    • adj vitriolic of a substance, especially a strong acid; capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
    • adj vitriolic harsh or corrosive in tone "an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose","a barrage of acid comments","her acrid remarks make her many enemies","bitter words","blistering criticism","caustic jokes about political assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics","a sulfurous denunciation","a vitriolic critique"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Vitriolic Biting, bitter or caustic; having or expressing strong and unpleasantly negative feelings; -- of speech or feelings; the vitriolic denunciations of opponents by partisan columnists.
    • Vitriolic (Chem) Of or pertaining to vitriol; derived from, or resembling, vitriol; vitriolous; as, a vitriolic taste. Cf. Vitriol.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • vitriolic Of or pertaining to vitriol; having the properties of vitriol, or obtained from vitriol.
    • vitriolic Biting; caustic; very severe or censorious.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adjs Vitriolic pertaining to or having the qualities of vitriol: biting, very severe
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. vitriolique,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr.,—Low L. vitriolumvitriolus—L. vitreus, of glass.


In literature:

It was a case of vitriol throwing.
"Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete" by Guy de Maupassant
The retort has burst, squirting its boiling vitriol in every direction.
"The Life of the Fly" by J. Henri Fabre
The great upheaval that flashed star-like through Ireland from epoch to epoch, burned like vitriol in their veins.
"Peg O' My Heart" by J. Hartley Manners
But to the Episcopal Church the priest dispensed the most vitriolic criticism.
"The Reign of Law" by James Lane Allen
"The Heart-Cry of Jesus" by Byron J. Rees
His hostess' admonitions were like vitriol in his ears.
"Aaron's Rod" by D. H. Lawrence
She tried to throw vitriol at me, and the bottle broke on Lord Caranby's face.
"The Secret Passage" by Fergus Hume
Beauty Stanton's blood had turned to vitriol.
"The U.P. Trail" by Zane Grey
His language was vitriolic.
"When Egypt Went Broke" by Holman Day
White vitriol is a valuable disinfectant, as it will arrest mortification.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce

In poetry:

How sleepy and chilly are windows
In the twilight hours of frost.
Dry vitriol oil. At the bottom,
A gnat, and expired wasps.
"The spring-it had simply been you" by Boris Pasternak

In news:

Arizona's Sheriff Dupnik and the 'vitriol' debate: Do words matter that much .
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is being criticized for his comments linking Saturday's shooting of Rep Gabrielle Giffords and others to antigovernment vitriol.
For years Craig Venter has attracted outsized attention and sometimes vitriol for challenging the status quo.
Vitriol has no place on opinion pages.
Money and vitriol abound in area races.
OAK PARK HEIGHTS — The Oak Park Heights City Council forum Monday night might have been the antidote to the more vitriolic political campaigns in other area races.
In Singapore, Vitriol Against Chinese Newcomers.
HBO's Lombardo 'Surprised' by Vitriol Aimed at 'Newsroom'.
In Moscow, a throwback to Soviet vitriol .
Wines Worth a Taste, but Not the Vitriol .
Less vitriol , more debate needed on abortion issue.
My only complaints were that his name calling lacked a bit of creativity and that his vitriol was only marginally convincing.
In light of the justified vitriol spewed at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week, I wondered who the most hated people are in sports at the moment.
The Internet is a garden of vitriol.
Local issues tend to get lost in the fray and vitriol surrounding presidential campaigns.