"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ak-rid] /ˈæk rɪd/
sharp or biting to the taste or smell; bitterly pungent; irritating to the eyes, nose, etc.:
acrid smoke from burning rubber.
extremely or sharply stinging or bitter; exceedingly caustic:
acrid remarks.
Origin of acrid
1705-15; < Latin ācr- (stem of ācer) sharp, sour + -id4, perhaps through influence of acid
Related forms
[uh-krid-i-tee] /əˈkrɪd ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
acridness, noun
acridly, adverb
subacrid, adjective
subacridly, adverb
subacridness, noun
subacridity, noun
Can be confused
acerbic, acid, acrid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acrid
  • The vans still smoldered and set an acrid tang in the air which stung bitter in the back of the throat.
  • Aromatic penetrating slightly acrid odor and a slightly bitter caustic taste.
  • It has a pungent odor and an acrid taste.
  • The air was growing worse, thin and acrid, bitter smells of oil and wet cloth.
  • Oil that is too hot can also burn food, leaving an acrid flavor in the oil.
  • The air reeked with the acrid tang of powder.
  • The hiss was explosive and he turned his face from the acrid ammoniac steam.
  • But then, when the day's final question was posed, the acrid truth emerged.
  • His character was as amiable as his pen was acrid.
  • Firemen were summoned and the room filled with acrid fumes.
British Dictionary definitions for acrid


unpleasantly pungent or sharp to the smell or taste
sharp or caustic, esp in speech or nature
Derived Forms
acridity (əˈkrɪdɪtɪ), acridness, noun
acridly, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Latin ācer sharp, sour; probably formed on the model of acid
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
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Word Origin and History for acrid

1712, formed irregularly from Latin acer (fem. acris) "sharp, pungent, bitter, eager, fierce," from PIE *akri- "sharp," from root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce" (cf. Oscan akrid (ablative singular) "sharply;" Greek akis "sharp point," akros "at the farthest point, highest, outermost," akantha "thorn," akme "summit, edge;" also oxys "sharp, bitter;" Sanskrit acri- "corner, edge," acani- "point of an arrow," asrih "edge;" Lithuanian ašmuo "sharpness," akstis "sharp stick;" Old Lithuanian aštras, Lithuanian aštrus "sharp;" Old Church Slavonic ostru, Russian óstryj "sharp;" Old Irish er "high;" Welsh ochr "edge, corner, border;" Old Norse eggja "goad;" Old English ecg "sword"). The -id suffix probably is in imitation of acid. Acrious (1670s) is a correct formation, but seldom seen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acrid in Medicine

acrid ac·rid (āk'rĭd)
Unpleasantly sharp, pungent, or bitter to the taste or smell.

a·crid'i·ty (ə-krĭd'ĭ-tē) or ac'rid·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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