[ ran-sid ]
/ ˈræn sɪd /


having a rank, unpleasant, stale smell or taste, as through decomposition, especially of fats or oils: rancid butter.
(of an odor or taste) rank, unpleasant, and stale: a rancid smell.
offensive or nasty; disagreeable.

Nearby words

  1. ranchman,
  2. rancho,
  3. rancho cordova,
  4. rancho cucamonga,
  5. rancho palos verdes,
  6. rancidly,
  7. rancor,
  8. rancorous,
  9. rancorously,
  10. rancour

Origin of rancid

1640–50; < Latin rancidus rank, stinking, equivalent to ranc(ēre) to be rotten + -idus -id4

Related formsran·cid·ly, adverbran·cid·ness, ran·cid·i·ty, nounun·ran·cid, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rancidity

British Dictionary definitions for rancidity


/ (ˈrænsɪd) /


(of butter, bacon, etc) having an unpleasant stale taste or smell as the result of decomposition
(of a taste or smell) rank or sour; stale
Derived Formsrancidity (rænˈsɪdɪtɪ) or rancidness, noun

Word Origin for rancid

C17: from Latin rancidus rank, from rancēre to stink

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 rancidity



1640s, from Latin rancidus "rank, stinking, offensive" (also source of Italian rancido, Spanish rancio), from rancere "be spoiled or rotten," of unknown origin. German ranzig is from French rancide. Related: Rancidness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for rancidity


[ rănsĭd ]


Having the disagreeable odor or taste of decomposing oils or fats.

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