ran·​cor·​ous | \ ˈraŋ-k(ə-)rəs How to pronounce rancorous (audio) \

Definition of rancorous

: marked by rancor : deeply malevolent rancorous envy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rancorous

rancorously adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for rancorous


acrid, acrimonious, bitter, embittered, hard, resentful, sore



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of rancorous in a Sentence

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

The rancorous rhetoric and the specter of military involvement have escalated tensions across this vast nation of 190 million people, which emerged from a series of military governments in 1999 and has repeatedly suffered postelection violence. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Nigeria to Vote After Delay Brings New Conflict," 21 Feb. 2019 The comments were good-natured but the campaign has been rancorous. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Nigeria’s Election Gets Under Way After a Stop-Start Runup," 23 Feb. 2019 While French officials have insisted that the November deal isn’t up for negotiations, German officials appeared more concerned about the strategic consequences of a rancorous split. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "U.K. Parliament’s Rejection of Brexit Deal Puts European Union in a Bind," 16 Jan. 2019 The bilateral trade tensions have roiled global markets and added a new, bitter dimension to the increasingly rancorous competition between the two powers. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "U.S., China Negotiators Narrow Differences on Trade," 8 Jan. 2019 Hence, the political conflict spawned by it wasn’t rancorous most of the time. Ezra Klein, Vox, "A new theory for why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently," 18 Dec. 2018 The somewhat rancorous build-up to the game -- where Sweden were accused of spying on their opponents -- was increasingly reflected in the niggly nature of the match. David Harding, chicagotribune.com, "VAR penalty gives Sweden a narrow win over South Korea," 18 June 2018 Trump, meanwhile, refused to let go of his rancorous clash with European allies over trade. Mark Landler, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump, Kim Jong Un sign a joint declaration at summit," 11 June 2018 Wednesday's voting for a National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, and four provincial assemblies followed a rancorous campaign marked by widespread allegations of manipulation. Fox News, "Suicide blast kills 31 as Pakistan holds general elections," 25 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rancorous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rancorous

circa 1517, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rancorous

Dictionary Entries near rancorous








Statistics for rancorous

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rancorous

The first known use of rancorous was circa 1517

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rancorous


ran·​cor·​ous | \ ˈraŋ-kə-rəs How to pronounce rancorous (audio) \

Kids Definition of rancorous

: showing deep hatred He gave a rancorous answer.

More from Merriam-Webster on rancorous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rancorous

Britannica English: Translation of rancorous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rancorous

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


a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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