Rankle definition

răngkəl
To rankle is to cause someone to have long-lasting annoyance, anger or irritation.

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.

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To cause persistent irritation or resentment.
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To feel or express irritation or resentment about something.

She rankled at what she considered to be unfair criticism.

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To become sore or inflamed; fester.

A wound that rankled.

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(obs.) To fester; become or make inflamed.
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To cause or cause to have long-lasting anger, rancor, resentment, etc.

Their indifference rankled him.

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(intransitive) To cause irritation or deep bitterness.
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(intransitive) To fester.

A splinter rankles in the flesh.

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To cause (someone) to feel irritated or resentful.

He was rankled by his rival's sudden success.

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Origin of rankle

  • Middle English ranclen from Old French rancler alteration of draoncler from draoncle festering sore, ulcer from Medieval Latin dracunculus from diminutive of dracō dracōn- serpent, dragon (probably in reference to the fiery red color and pain of a sore) from Latin serpent, fabulous serpentine beast dragon

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • First attested in 1320. From Old French rancler, draoncler (“to ulcerate, to form a boil"), from draoncle (“a boil"), from Latin dracunculus (“little serpent"), diminutive of dracō (“serpent, dragon").

    From Wiktionary