Heather grew more rankled when she questioned her boyfriend and he pretended not to know what happened.
When you say something to someone that you know will cause upset and anger, this is an example of a time when you rankle someone.
transitive verb-·kled, -·kling
- Obs. to fester; become or make inflamed
- to cause or cause to have long-lasting anger, rancor, resentment, etc.: their indifference rankled him
Origin of rankleMiddle English ranclen from Old French rancler from raoncle, draoncle, a fester, ulcer from Medieval Latin dracunculus from L, diminutive of draco, dragon
verbran·kled, ran·kling, ran·kles
- To cause persistent irritation or resentment: “Although Johnson's assertion of raw power rankled at the time, Mitchell had come to appreciate its simple logic” ( Nick Kotz )
- To feel or express irritation or resentment about something: She rankled at what she considered to be unfair criticism.
- To become sore or inflamed; fester: a wound that rankled.
Origin of rankleMiddle English ranclen from Old French raoncler, rancler alteration of draoncler from draoncle festering sore, ulcer from Medieval Latin dracunculus from diminutive of dracō dracōn- serpent, dragon ( in reference to the fiery red color and pain of a sore or to the irregular shape of some festering sores ) from Latin serpent, fabulous serpentine beast ; see dragon.
(third-person singular simple present rankles, present participle rankling, simple past and past participle rankled)