[ ak-rid ]
/ ˈæk rɪd /


sharp or biting to the taste or smell; bitterly pungent; irritating to the eyes, nose, etc.: acrid smoke from burning rubber.
extremely or sharply stinging or bitter; exceedingly caustic: acrid remarks.

Nearby words

  1. acre-inch,
  2. acreage,
  3. acred,
  4. acrel's ganglion,
  5. acremonium,
  6. acridid,
  7. acridine,
  8. acridine orange,
  9. acridine yellow,
  10. acridity

Origin of acrid

1705–15; < Latin ācr- (stem of ācer) sharp, sour + -id4, perhaps through influence of acid

Related forms
Can be confusedacerbic acid acrid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acrid

British Dictionary definitions for acrid


/ (ˈækrɪd) /


unpleasantly pungent or sharp to the smell or taste
sharp or caustic, esp in speech or nature
Derived Formsacridity (əˈkrɪdɪtɪ) or acridness, nounacridly, adverb

Word Origin for acrid

C18: from Latin ācer sharp, sour; probably formed on the model of acid

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for acrid



1712, formed irregularly from Latin acer (fem. acris) "sharp, pungent, bitter, eager, fierce," from PIE *akri- "sharp," from root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce" (cf. Oscan akrid (ablative singular) "sharply;" Greek akis "sharp point," akros "at the farthest point, highest, outermost," akantha "thorn," akme "summit, edge;" also oxys "sharp, bitter;" Sanskrit acri- "corner, edge," acani- "point of an arrow," asrih "edge;" Lithuanian ašmuo "sharpness," akstis "sharp stick;" Old Lithuanian aštras, Lithuanian aštrus "sharp;" Old Church Slavonic ostru, Russian óstryj "sharp;" Old Irish er "high;" Welsh ochr "edge, corner, border;" Old Norse eggja "goad;" Old English ecg "sword"). The -id suffix probably is in imitation of acid. Acrious (1670s) is a correct formation, but seldom seen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for acrid


[ ăkrĭd ]


Unpleasantly sharp, pungent, or bitter to the taste or smell.
Related formsa•cridi•ty (ə-krĭdĭ-tē) null n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.