ran·​cor·​ous ˈraŋ-k(ə-)rəs How to pronounce rancorous (audio)
: marked by rancor : deeply malevolent
rancorous envy
rancorously adverb

Example Sentences

a rancorous autobiography in which the author heaps blame on just about everyone who had the misfortune of knowing him
Recent Examples on the Web Shooting during the initial lockdown in the Chinese city where the virus was first detected, the gifted Canadian documentarian Yung Chang captures a general state of confusion and fear through very intimate angles, bedside perspectives and rancorous old men driving their nurses to distraction. WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 In speeches, appearances and media interviews, Hogan has insisted that the GOP should abandon Trump-style rhetoric and follow his model of tackling populist issues and avoiding rancorous partisan spats. Erin Cox, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 Kathryn Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner; Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio; and Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate, are also considered among the top candidates, and one of them could still pull ahead in the final days of a turbulent and rancorous race. New York Times, 16 June 2021 But why has the fascist debate become so powerful and so rancorous? The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 29 Mar. 2023 Rivals need not be rancorous. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 30 Nov. 2021 And with a rancorous and vocal public ready to protest again, the bill’s passage into law would not be smooth. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 28 Mar. 2023 In another rancorous moment, Biden mentioned a guest in the first lady's box: a man whose 20 year-old daughter died of a fentanyl overdose, before noting that fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year and calling for a campaign to stop the sale and trafficking of the drug. Isabella Murray, ABC News, 8 Feb. 2023 The next few years were unstable and rancorous. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 19 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rancorous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1517, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rancorous was circa 1517

Dictionary Entries Near rancorous

Cite this Entry

“Rancorous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rancorous. Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on rancorous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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