- (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 rankling
She could not understand the amount of offence which was rankling in Mary's bosom.Is He Popenjoy?
The skilful performance of my duty was the source of a rankling grudge.Captain Canot
Yet the knowledge imparted to him by the chambermaid was rankling in his mind.Sister Carrie
THE wound which Maltravers had received was peculiarly severe and rankling.Ernest Maltravers, Complete
The loss of the horse had been rankling in his heart all day.Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up
Clarence Edward Mulford
- (intr) to cause severe and continuous irritation, anger, or bitterness; festerhis failure to win still rankles
Word Origin and History for rankling
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.