Definition of rankle
1 : to cause anger, irritation, or deep bitterness
2 : to feel anger and irritation
: to cause irritation or bitterness in
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>
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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