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



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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 A few minutes later, the air picked up a harsh scent: the acrid odor of the fire, riding the early-morning breeze into Santa Clarita, roughly 20 miles from the backlot. New York Times, "The Day the Music Burned," 11 June 2019 The atmosphere of the current negotiations between Kaiser and the UHW may be the most acrid since the partnership started. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Kaiser’s bitter contract talks could jeopardize its 20-year partnership with labor," 6 Sep. 2019 Started by lightning on June 5, the Swan Lake Fire generated hazy, sometimes acrid air around the Peninsula and into Anchorage and Mat-Su. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Kenai Peninsula fire that made for smoky skies through much of the summer is winding down," 31 July 2019 Likewise, Propionibacterium metabolize amino acids to produce an acrid odor, funky and vinegary. Paul Vanouse, The Conversation, "An artist’s journey into the science of sweat," 12 Sep. 2019 Hundreds of people lined up bridges around the island that houses the church, watching in shock as acrid smoke rose in plumes. oregonlive, "Structure of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris saved: fire chief," 15 Apr. 2019 Classic examples use local Vienna malt for rich toasty notes, but exhibit no roasted or acrid flavors, yielding instead dry, crisp flavor profiles. Jay R. Brooks, The Mercury News, "Beer trend alert: The resurgence of Mexican lager," 6 Sep. 2019 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has bristled at the growing international and domestic criticism of his administration’s handling of the raging fires, which has blanketed some of Brazil’s cities in acrid smoke that has blocked out the sun. Washington Post, "As fires rage in the Amazon, international pressure mounts on Brazil to take action," 23 Aug. 2019 The number actually refers to the five traditional Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) and flavors (sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and acrid/pungent), of which five-spice achieves a harmonious balance. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "The Spice Blend That’s Great on Ribs (and Also in Cookies)," 20 Aug. 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

24 Oct 2019

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

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