rancid

adjective
ran·​cid | \ˈran(t)-səd \

Definition of rancid 

1 : having an unpleasant smell or taste usually from chemical change or decomposition rancid butter rancid breath

2 : distinctly unpleasant or distasteful : offensive a rancid sexual scandal Without free speech, even in its most rancid forms, we may have nothing to choose at night but old movies and "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!"— Richard Corliss

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Other Words from rancid

rancidity \ran-​ˈsi-​də-​tē \ noun
rancidness \ˈran(t)-​səd-​nəs \ noun

Did You Know?

Rancid has a fairly straightforward history; it derives from Latin rancidus, itself from the Latin verb rancēre, meaning "to be rancid" or "to stink." In addition to the related words rancidness and rancidity, another descendant of rancēre in English is rancor, meaning "bitter deep-seated ill will." (Rancor passed through Middle French rather than being borrowed into English directly.) These days, rancid also has developed a second, extended sense which is used in the context of offenses to less literal or physical senses than those of smell or taste, and you might see references to "rancid behavior" or "a rancid personality."

Examples of rancid in a Sentence

Some foods become rancid quickly. an unscrupulous food vendor who's as rancid as the meat that he serves

Recent Examples on the Web

Sullivan says a rancid scent could mean your body is struggling with digestion issues. Samantha Lefave, Redbook, "Why You Should Never Ignore Sweet-Smelling Urine (or These Other Body Odors)," 3 Aug. 2018 The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner drew the No. 1 gate for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, a spot Baffert typically enjoys as much as rancid milk. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Justify gets the rail for Belmont Stakes, Bob Baffert's least favorite spot," 5 June 2018 Durian are just about synonymous with their repulsive odor, which (to be fair) has whiffs of sweetness that are immediately overwhelmed by notes of corrosion and rancid egg. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "Fears of a gas leak forced an evacuation at a Melbourne university. It was a durian.," 29 Apr. 2018 Though the brand makes some of the most heralded beers in the industry, drinkers quickly began complaining of sour and rancid off flavors. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "Goose Island wins lawsuit over infected Bourbon County," 14 June 2018 Durian are just about synonymous with their repulsive odor, which (to be fair) has whiffs of sweetness that are immediately overwhelmed by notes of corrosion and rancid egg. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "Fears of a gas leak forced an evacuation at a Melbourne university. It was a durian.," 29 Apr. 2018 Durian are just about synonymous with their repulsive odor, which (to be fair) has whiffs of sweetness that are immediately overwhelmed by notes of corrosion and rancid egg. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "Fears of a gas leak forced an evacuation at a Melbourne university. It was a durian.," 29 Apr. 2018 Outside an Italian restaurant, the gag-inducing stench of rancid food filled the air while volunteers ferried heavy kitchen equipment to the curb. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Ellicott City begins the great 'muck out' — again," 3 June 2018 Durian are just about synonymous with their repulsive odor, which (to be fair) has whiffs of sweetness that are immediately overwhelmed by notes of corrosion and rancid egg. Melinda Morris, NOLA.com, "Who boils the best crawfish in metro New Orleans? It's the last day to vote," 30 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rancid.' 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 rancid

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rancid

Latin rancidus, from rancēre to be rancid

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Statistics for rancid

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rancid

The first known use of rancid was in 1627

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More Definitions for rancid

rancid

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of rancid

of food : having a strong and unpleasant smell or taste from no longer being fresh

: full of anger and bitterness

rancid

adjective
ran·​cid | \ˈran-səd \

Kids Definition of rancid

: having a strong disagreeable smell or taste from no longer being fresh rancid butter

rancid

adjective
ran·​cid | \ˈran(t)-səd \

Medical Definition of rancid 

: having a rank smell or taste usually from chemical change or decomposition rancid butter

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More from Merriam-Webster on rancid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rancid

Spanish Central: Translation of rancid

Nglish: Translation of rancid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rancid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rancid

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