- (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 rankle on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rankled
The cynics among us will be rankled at the description of a book as “inspiring,” but Massie is the genuine article.This Week’s Hot Reads: May 23, 2012
Nicholas Mancusi, Malcolm Jones, Lucas Wittmann
May 23, 2012
If it rankled, it was because it forced the audience to take a long look at their own imperfections, their own broken families.The Big Bang of Reality TV
April 17, 2011
Her dogged willingness to keep the case in the spotlight has rankled authorities—which has only strengthened her resolve.A Mommy Blogger Seeks Justice for Her Son
K. Emily Bond
March 28, 2011
The promise so rankled the Taliban they issued a statement insisting that Pakistan should reject all foreign aid.Terrorists Exploit a Disaster
August 13, 2010
The family, and Jeb Bush in particular, manages to reconcile many of the tensions and contradictions that have rankled the party.Bush-Cheney 2012?
May 19, 2009
The thing that rankled and filled him with a sense of failure was Max Wilson's attitude.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
After that more than ever rankled the memory of that first morning.The Incomplete Amorist
That same book,—how it rankled, like a barbed arrow, in his side!Tony Butler
Charles James Lever
The thought that a man whom he had befriended was opposing him rankled deeply.Rodney, the Ranger
John V. Lane
She could not apologise to him after hearing the accusation which rankled in his bosom.Kept in the Dark
- (intr) to cause severe and continuous irritation, anger, or bitterness; festerhis failure to win still rankles
Word Origin and History for rankled
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.