Definition of rankle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈraNGk(ə)l/


[no object]
1 archaic (Of a wound or sore) continue to be painful; fester.
2(Of a comment, event, or fact) cause annoyance or resentment that persists: the casual manner of his dismissal still rankles
More example sentences
  • The issues they raise often have their roots in the past and yet continue to rankle.
  • The mildly teasing tone in the girl's voice took most of the sting out of her last comment, yet it still rankled.
  • This rankled with me two years ago and I still find it very irksome today.
2.1 [with object] Annoy or irritate (someone): Lisa was rankled by his assertion
More example sentences
  • Well, there is a thing or two that might rankle people on either side, but Scott has his head in the right place.
  • Edison's corporate identity also rankles the students and is one of the major themes of their rallies and meetings.
  • But something about having to legislate those rules of fair play rankles me.
cause resentment to, annoy, upset, anger, irritate, offend, affront, displease, provoke, irk, vex, pique, nettle, gall
informal rile, miff, peeve, aggravate, tick off


Middle English: from Old French rancler, from rancle, draoncle 'festering sore', from an alteration of medieval Latin dracunculus, diminutive of draco 'serpent'.

Words that rhyme with rankle


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ran·kle

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