Definition of rankle
1 : to cause anger, irritation, or deep bitterness
2 : to feel anger and irritation
: to cause irritation or bitterness in
rankle was our Word of the Day on 03/09/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of rankle in a Sentence
The joke about her family rankled her.
that kind of rude treatment from a young person makes me rankle
Recent Examples of rankle from the Web
This rankled some political operatives and caused a small Twitter furor.
The changing face of the Mackenzie environment is yet another display of the consequences of intensive dairying that are rankling with voters four months before a general election.
Some of the ideas floated in a detailed 34-page report released Wednesday by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson are sure to rankle city union leaders.
While Maurice Smith's transfer to Georgia still seems to rankle Nick Saban, Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey stands by his decision to grant a waiver.
Obama’s restraint was in keeping with an over-all preference for caution, which often rankled leading generals at the Pentagon.
During the Supreme Court confirmation proceedings for Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Kennedy seemed to rankle some Republicans by sporadically venturing off message, including a puckish question about whether the judge had ever been to Russia.
A question from the audience on the topic visibly rankled McNealy.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rankle'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The history of today's word is something of a sore subject. When rankle was first used in English, it meant "to fester," and that meaning is linked to the word's Old French ancestor—the noun raoncle or draoncle, which meant "festering sore." Etymologists think this Old French word was derived from the Latin dracunculus, a diminutive form of draco, which means "serpent" and which is the source of the English word dragon. The transition from serpents to sores apparently occurred because people thought certain ulcers or tumors looked like small serpents.
Origin and Etymology of rankle
Middle English ranclen to fester, from Anglo-French rancler, from Old French draoncler, raoncler, from draoncle, raoncle festering sore, from Medieval Latin dracunculus, from Latin, diminutive of draco serpent — more at dragon
First Known Use: 1606
RANKLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rankle for English Language Learners
: to cause (someone) to feel angry or irritated especially for a long time
RANKLE Defined for Kids
Definition of rankle for Students
: to cause anger, irritation, or bitterness
Seen and Heard
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