Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

rankle

play
verb ran·kle \ˈraŋ-kəl\

Simple Definition of rankle

  • : to cause (someone) to feel angry or irritated especially for a long time

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of rankle

rankled

rankling

play \-k(ə-)liŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause anger, irritation, or deep bitterness

  3. 2 :  to feel anger and irritation

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to cause irritation or bitterness in

Examples of rankle in a sentence

  1. The joke about her family rankled her.

  2. <that kind of rude treatment from a young person makes me rankle>



Did You Know?

When "rankle" was first used in English, it meant "to fester," and that meaning is linked to the word's Old French ancestor, a noun that was spelled "raoncle" or "draoncle" and meant "festering sore." Etymologists think the Old French noun derived from "dracunculus," a diminutive form of "draco," which is the Latin word for "serpent" and the source of the English word dragon. The transition from serpents to sores apparently occurred because people thought certain ulcers or tumors looked like small serpents.

Origin and Etymology of rankle

Middle English ranclen to fester, from Anglo-French rancler, from Old French draoncler, raoncler, from draoncle, raoncle festering sore, from Medieval Latin dracunculus, from Latin, diminutive of draco serpent — more at dragon


First Known Use: 1606

Rhymes with rankle

ankle


RANKLE Defined for Kids

rankle

play
verb ran·kle \ˈraŋ-kəl\

Definition of rankle for Students

rankled

rankling

  1. :  to cause anger, irritation, or bitterness





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up rankle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an indentation on an edge or a surface

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

august-macke-lady-in-a-green-jacket

Which of these is a synonym of namby-pamby?

energetic lithe insightful insipid
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ