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rankle

[rang-kuh l]
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verb (used without object), ran·kled, ran·kling.
  1. (of unpleasant feelings, experiences, etc.) to continue to cause keen irritation or bitter resentment within the mind; fester; be painful.
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verb (used with object), ran·kled, ran·kling.
  1. to cause keen irritation or bitter resentment in: His colleague's harsh criticism rankled him for days.
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Origin of rankle

1250–1300; Middle English ranclen < Middle French rancler, Old French raoncler, variant of draoncler to fester, derivative of draoncle a sore < Late Latin dracunculus small serpent, diminutive of Latin dracō serpent; see dragon, carbuncle
Related formsran·kling·ly, adverbun·ran·kled, adjective

Synonyms

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1, 2. irritate, gall, chafe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rankles

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Owen Johnson

  • It rankles occasionally to this day, though he is now a stout lad of fifteen.

    Just Sixteen.

    Susan Coolidge

  • No feeling so rankles in the mind as the sense of uncompensated labor.

    The Itching Palm

    William R Scott


British Dictionary definitions for rankles

rankle

verb
  1. (intr) to cause severe and continuous irritation, anger, or bitterness; festerhis failure to win still rankles
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Word Origin

C14 ranclen, from Old French draoncler to fester, from draoncle ulcer, from Latin dracunculus small serpent, from dracō serpent; see dragon
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 rankles

rankle

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper