- (of unpleasant feelings, experiences, etc.) to continue to cause keen irritation or bitter resentment within the mind; fester; be painful.
- to cause keen irritation or bitter resentment in: His colleague's harsh criticism rankled him for days.
Origin of rankle
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rankle
The blade is poisoned, dear, and the wound will rankle for a lifetime.'Despair's Last Journey
David Christie Murray
Take a look at it now, if you will, for hereafter we'll let it bide and rankle as it must.Nicanor - Teller of Tales
C. Bryson Taylor
Sir Cæsar, too, had (all unwittingly) planted an arrow and left it to rankle.Major Vigoureux
A. T. Quiller-Couch
Do you suppose she left that poison to rankle in the tender soul of her darling?Over the Teacups
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
There is no sting to rankle, now that hope—hope for my boy—has gone.Shining Ferry
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
- (intr) to cause severe and continuous irritation, anger, or bitterness; festerhis failure to win still rankles
Word Origin and History for rankle
c.1300, "to fester," from Old French rancler, earlier raoncler, draoncler "to suppurate, run," from draoncle "abscess, festering sore," from Medieval Latin dracunculus, literally "little dragon," diminutive of Latin draco "serpent, dragon" (see dragon). The notion is of an ulcer caused by a snake's bite. Meaning "cause to fester" is from c.1400. Related: Rankled; rankling.