Pronunciation: (vi'trē-ul), [key]
—n., v., -oled, -ol•ing or (esp. Brit.) -olled, -ol•ling.
1. Chem.any of certain metallic sulfates of glassy appearance, as copper sulfate or blue vitriol, iron sulfate or green vitriol, zinc sulfate or white vitriol, etc.
2. oil of vitriol; sulfuric acid.
3. something highly caustic or severe in effect, as criticism.
to treat with or as with vitriol, esp. sulfuric acid.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.