ran·​cor | \ ˈraŋ-kər How to pronounce rancor (audio) , -ˌkȯr \

Definition of rancor

: bitter deep-seated ill will

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 The backdrop of this rancor is activist investor Macellum’s attempt to take control of Kohl’s, including replacing ten of its directors. Sanford Stein, Forbes, 2 May 2022 The aim is to revitalize the democratic process while draining some of the rancor out of politics. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2022 The deal came at a cost, though, with years of public rancor again casting both owners and players as money obsessed. Joe Noga, cleveland, 10 Mar. 2022 The deal came at a cost, though, with years of public rancor again casting both owners and players as money obsessed. Ronald Blum, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Mar. 2022 But more political rancor will surely attract more extremist candidates into the fold. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 8 Mar. 2022 But there is no evidence that this rancor has impacted Rogan’s position as Spotify’s golden boy. Kate Knibbs, Wired, 27 Jan. 2022 When Elliott ran against Hill in 2020, the campaign was marked by rancor with a number of ads seeking to paint Elliott as a radical activist and militant liberal. Ryan Tarinelli, Arkansas Online, 14 Mar. 2022 In Arizona—and across the country—school boards are increasingly a site of agitation and activism, inflected with the partisan rancor of national politics. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 14 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About rancor

Time Traveler for rancor

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near rancor




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rancor

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rancor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rancor. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for rancor


ran·​cor | \ ˈraŋ-kər How to pronounce rancor (audio) \

Kids Definition of rancor

: deep hatred

More from Merriam-Webster on rancor

Nglish: Translation of rancor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rancor for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!