- (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 rankles
This rankles local businessmen and overseas investors, who yearn for fewer restrictions.Hillary Clinton Visits Burma Amidst Burmese Spring
December 2, 2011
What rankles even more is that Perry had to label those who disagreed with him as heartless.Life After Chris and Sarah
October 6, 2011
What rankles about all of this is that Paterson, for all his deep flaws, might be the best governor New York has had in decades.What Paterson Got Right
March 5, 2010
It rankles in my heart, and unless I can be revenged I shall sink under it.Vivian Grey
Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
The king has suffered; it rankles in his mind; and he will avenge himself.The Man in the Iron Mask
Alexandre Dumas, Pere
That's it; it's because I'm afraid that he would lick me that it rankles so.The Eternal Boy
It rankles occasionally to this day, though he is now a stout lad of fifteen.Just Sixteen.
No feeling so rankles in the mind as the sense of uncompensated labor.The Itching Palm
William R Scott
- (intr) to cause severe and continuous irritation, anger, or bitterness; festerhis failure to win still rankles
Word Origin and History for rankles
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.