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

Other Words from acrid

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for acrid



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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

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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 Some argued the work was an acrid but intelligent criticism of mass-production, even of capitalism, while others saw a more comforting wall of soup, more about America and post-war options and prosperity. Alexandra Peers, CNN, 9 July 2022 Not least, a Republican chief executive could rebrand the party and improve its acrid image in the state. Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2022 Miles away from the fires, the smoke still left an acrid taste in my mouth. New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021 As the evening went on, Dylan’s voice became more acrid. Mick Stevens, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2021 The acrid smoke from massive wildfires that ignited in rural eastern Washington last Labor Day weekend drifted over the Cascades before blanketing the state’s populous western flank. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Aug. 2021 Sparks fly where steel is being burned, and an acrid, choking smoke billows up when a torch sets off insulation or oil or something else flammable. Jacques Kelly,, 9 Aug. 2021 There is a moment when the sugars in a black plantain will begin to ferment and release a slightly acrid smell. New York Times, 6 Aug. 2021 On edge after months of lockdown, widespread infection and death, and a highly acrid political climate, people across the political spectrum nurtured a handful of increasingly fantastical explanations for the dismal state of things. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, 1 Oct. 2020 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

16 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Acrid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on acrid

Nglish: Translation of acrid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acrid for Arabic Speakers


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