ran·​cor | \ ˈraŋ-kər, -ˌkȯr\

Definition of rancor

: bitter deep-seated ill will

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Choose the Right Synonym for rancor

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed. an unspoken enmity hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression. hostility between the two nations antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility. a natural antipathy for self-seekers antagonism between the brothers animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility. animosity that led to revenge rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong. rancor filled every line of his letters animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice. objections devoid of personal animus

Examples of rancor in a Sentence

She answered her accusers calmly and without rancor. In the end, the debate created a degree of rancor among the committee members.

Recent Examples on the Web

All too often, though, well-meaning people do things destined to create discord, rancor and resentment among their heirs. Liz Weston, The Seattle Times, "How to write a will that won’t trigger a family feud," 24 Sep. 2018 Despite signs the agreement was holding Tuesday, the Houthis and Yemen’s government traded accusations of violations, underlining the rancor that permeates Yemeni politics even as peace talks gain steam. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Fragile Yemen Cease-Fire Takes Hold After U.S. Push," 18 Dec. 2018 Trudeau did not seem eager to match Trump's rancor. Damian Paletta, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump, White House advisers blast Canada's Trudeau in brutal aftermath of G-7 summit," 11 June 2018 McCain had chosen the speakers at his funeral to emphasize a clear theme: Certain values—and friendships—must transcend partisan differences, and divisive political rancor was, by his estimation, un-American. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "A Brief History of George W. Bush and Michelle Obama's Friendship," 4 Sep. 2018 While often polite, the primary among Democrats was not without rancor. Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times, "Kim Schrier edges out Jason Rittereiser to face Dino Rossi in 8th Congressional District," 13 Aug. 2018 The memo, produced by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), has roiled Washington for the past week — increasing the partisan rancor on Capitol Hill and pitting President Trump against his own Justice Department. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Why the Nunes memo takes aim at a Justice Dept. official specializing in gangs and drugs," 2 Feb. 2018 The breakup itself should be handled diplomatically and without rancor, owners say. Joyce M. Rosenberg, USA TODAY, "Hard to do: Businesses may need to break up with slow-paying, irritating customers," 2 July 2018 The session was devoid of the kind of rancor Issa has faced from the anti-Trump resistance that helped push him to retire from Congress when his current term ends. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Local Congress members' collegiality seems a world away from Washington," 29 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rancor

Middle English rancour, from Anglo-French rancur, from Late Latin rancor rancidity, rancor, from Latin rancēre

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Statistics for rancor

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rancor

The first known use of rancor was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for rancor



English Language Learners Definition of rancor

: an angry feeling of hatred or dislike for someone who has treated you unfairly


ran·​cor | \ ˈraŋ-kər \

Kids Definition of rancor

: deep hatred

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More from Merriam-Webster on rancor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rancor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rancor

Spanish Central: Translation of rancor

Nglish: Translation of rancor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rancor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rancor

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


a complex dispute or argument

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