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
rancidityplay \ran-ˈsi-də-tē\ noun
rancidnessplay \ˈran(t)-səd-nəs\ noun
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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
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."
Origin and Etymology of rancid
Latin rancidus, from rancēre to be rancid
First Known Use: 1627
RANCID Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rancid for English Language Learners
of food : having a strong and unpleasant smell or taste from no longer being fresh
: full of anger and bitterness
RANCID Defined for Kids
Definition of rancid for Students
: having a strong disagreeable smell or taste from no longer being fresh rancid butter
Medical Definition of rancid
: having a rank smell or taste usually from chemical change or decomposition rancid butter
Seen and Heard
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