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Fig. something that one cannot have and so disparages as if it were never desirable. of course you want to buy this expensive jacket. Criticizing it is just sour grapes, but you still really want it.
Disparaging what one cannot obtain, as in The losers' scorn for the award is pure sour grapes. This expression alludes to the Greek writer Aesop's famous fable about a fox that cannot reach some grapes on a high vine and announces that they are sour. In English the fable was first recorded in William Caxton's 1484 translation, "The fox said these raisins be sour."
COMMON If you describe someone's attitude as sour grapes, you mean that they are jealous of another person's success and show this jealousy by criticizing that person. These accusations have been going on for some time now, but it is just sour grapes. The government says that Mr Fedorov's criticisms are mere sour grapes. Note: In one of Aesop's fables (= traditional stories, usually with a moral), a fox tries several times unsuccessfully to reach a bunch of delicious-looking grapes. In the end he gives up, telling himself that they are probably sour and inedible anyway.
sour grapesan attitude in which someone disparages or pretends to despise something because they cannot have it themselves.
In Aesop's fable The Fox and the Grapes, the fox, unable to reach the tempting bunch of grapes, comforts himself with the thought that they were probably sour anyway.
1998 New Scientist At 66, I can be acquitted of any sour grapes, but I feel sorry for younger MPs…[who] have all been passed over.