rankle

verb
ran·kle | \ ˈraŋ-kəl \
rankled; rankling\ˈraŋ-k(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of rankle 

intransitive verb

1 : to cause anger, irritation, or deep bitterness

2 : to feel anger and irritation

transitive verb

: to cause irritation or bitterness in

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The Connection Between rankle and Dragon

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.

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 on the Web

Iran is also rankled by al-Sadr's recent overtures to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are locked in proxy wars with Tehran in Syria and Yemen. Fox News, "Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran," 20 May 2018 That style rankled some rivals and investors, but Exxon backed it up with best-in-class performance. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Exxon, Once a ‘Perfect Machine,’ Is Running Dry," 13 July 2018 But this claiming of Alexander the Great rankled Greece, which is home to a province called Macedonia, once the heart of the ancient Macedonian empire and Alexander the Great’s birthplace. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why Macedonia’s Government Agreed to Change the Country’s Name," 13 June 2018 But, then as now, his single-minded intensity frequently rankled his rivals. Dale Robertson Staff Writer, San Antonio Express-News, "A dose of perspective on Patrick Reed’s style of play and persona," 11 June 2018 Iran is also rankled by al-Sadr’s recent overtures to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are locked in proxy wars with Tehran in Syria and Yemen. Washington Post, "Iraq’s al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran," 20 May 2018 Missed birthday phone calls The Sharps' relatives also have been rankled at reports the family was dead for as few as one or two days. USA TODAY, "Relatives hold funeral for Iowa family found dead in Mexico as questions remain," 31 Mar. 2018 The manner in which the academy has expanded its ranks has rankled some members. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "Latest Class of Oscar Voters Is Nearly Half Women," 25 June 2018 The amped up data-tracking has rankled some customers, who worry that even anonymized readership habits, if shared with other clients, could allow rivals to get ahead of their trades. Telis Demos, WSJ, "Big Investors Don’t Want Wall Street Analysts Snooping on Them," 14 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of rankle

1606, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for rankle

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rankle

The first known use of rankle was in 1606

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More Definitions for rankle

rankle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rankle

: to cause (someone) to feel angry or irritated especially for a long time

rankle

verb
ran·kle | \ ˈraŋ-kəl \
rankled; rankling

Kids Definition of rankle

: to cause anger, irritation, or bitterness

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Comments on rankle

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