ac·​rid | \ ˈa-krəd How to pronounce acrid (audio) \

Definition of acrid

1 : sharp and harsh or unpleasantly pungent in taste or odor : irritating acrid smoke
2 : deeply or violently bitter : acrimonious an acrid denunciation

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Other Words from acrid

acridity \ a-​ˈkri-​də-​tē How to pronounce acridity (audio) , ə-​ \ noun
acridly \ ˈa-​krəd-​lē How to pronounce acridly (audio) \ adverb
acridness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for acrid


acrimonious, bitter, embittered, hard, rancorous, resentful, sore



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Choose the Right Synonym for acrid

caustic, mordant, acrid, scathing mean stingingly incisive. caustic suggests a biting wit. caustic comments mordant suggests a wit that is used with deadly effectiveness. mordant reviews of the play acrid implies bitterness and often malevolence. acrid invective scathing implies indignant attacks delivered with fierce severity. a scathing satire

Did You Know?

Acrid exactly fits the smoke from a fire—a burning building or forest, for example. Dense smog may cast an acrid pall over a city, making throats burn and eyes sting. But, like acid and acerbic, acrid sometimes also describes nonphysical things, such as the remarks of a bitter person.

Examples of acrid in a Sentence

Thick, acrid smoke rose from the factory. there have been acrid relations between the two families ever since they fought over that strip of land

Recent Examples on the Web

Anchorage residents woke to the acrid smell of smoke and hazy skies obscuring the Chugach Mountains. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Smoke returns to Anchorage as hot weather fans Swan Lake wildfire," 5 July 2019 When the acrid smell of gunpowder swirled through Santa Fe High School in Texas last May, several people rushed into action. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "He said he protected students in a school shooting. Then the truth emerged.," 1 July 2019 Once again, the woman’s story is consumed and abstracted and diffused into the acrid air. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Cruel Paradox at the Heart of E. Jean Carroll’s Allegation Against Trump," 24 June 2019 Thousands turned out for the Gaspee Days Parade, slurping Del’s lemonade as bagpipes wailed, Clydesdales clip-clopped down a red-white-and-blue centerline, and the air filled with acrid clouds of musket smoke. Edward Fitzpatrick,, "Once a desirable middle class destination, Warwick now faces financial stress," 13 June 2019 The grill dehydrated a bone-in pork chop to a lacquered warclub and left a smoked chicken with loose, greasy skin like an acrid cape. Mike Sutter,, "Zero-star review: Grey Moss Inn falls behind the times northwest of San Antonio," 6 June 2019 The Seattle area awoke Monday morning to clean and damp air, a constrast to Saturday morning’s acrid campfire smell and low-slung haze. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s smoke is clearing. Now it’s up to rain and wind to finish the job," 27 Aug. 2018 Salvador Luquin awoke on his 50-acre ranch to acrid smoke billowing from the ground and a family, including two young daughters, that needed to get somewhere safe. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "The earth cracked open. Walls of lava encroached. That’s just life on a Hawaiian volcano.," 20 May 2018 The gloriously gaudy cinema palaces of our youth have closed their crimson curtains for good, and the humid fug of cigarette smoke and popcorn has been replaced by a dispiritingly acrid, all-over guilty smell. John Banville, WSJ, "‘Sleeping With Strangers’ Review: Flickers of Desire," 22 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acrid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acrid

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acrid

Latin ācr-, ācer "sharp, pungent, biting" + the English formative -id (as in acid entry 2); replacing acrious, from Latin ācer + -ious — more at acr-

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Statistics for acrid

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acrid

The first known use of acrid was in 1633

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More Definitions for acrid


ac·​rid | \ ˈa-krəd How to pronounce acrid (audio) \

Kids Definition of acrid

1 : sharp or bitter in taste or odor
2 : very harsh or unpleasant an acrid manner


ac·​rid | \ ˈak-rəd How to pronounce acrid (audio) \

Medical Definition of acrid

: irritatingly sharp and harsh or unpleasantly pungent in taste or odor

Other Words from acrid

acridly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on acrid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for acrid

Spanish Central: Translation of acrid

Nglish: Translation of acrid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acrid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on acrid

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


characterized by aphorism

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