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[rang-ker] /ˈræŋ kər/
bitter, rankling resentment or ill will; hatred; malice.
Also, especially British, rancour.
Origin of rancor
1175-1225; Middle English rancour < Middle French < Late Latin rancōr- (stem of rancor) rancidity, equivalent to Latin ranc(ēre) (see rancid) + -ōr- -or1
Related forms
rancored; especially British, rancoured, adjective
unrancored, adjective
bitterness, spite, venom, animosity. See malevolence.
benevolence. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rancour
Historical Examples
  • In the rhetoric of rancour he is a distinguished practitioner.

  • My vengeance and my rancour, beside which all others shall pale!

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • The adventurers had piled their arms, and had already forgotten all their rancour: they were laughing and talking gaily together.

    The Indian Chief Gustave Aimard
  • He did not dare express all his rancour, while he was unequal to suppressing it entirely.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • And now violently the rancour of Helene Vauquier's feelings burst out once more.

    At the Villa Rose A. E. W. Mason
  • If he has any rancour or hardness in him it will bring it out.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • But you have yet to learn the rancour of this diabolical character.

  • The next was that his good spirits were also shared by Miss Bishop, and that she bore no rancour.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • The rancour of the Legalists was sufficient proof of Paul's sincerity.

  • The prince was stung to the quick, though for the moment he kept his rancour hidden.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
British Dictionary definitions for rancour


malicious resentfulness or hostility; spite
Derived Forms
rancorous, adjective
rancorously, adverb
rancorousness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Late Latin rancor rankness
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 rancour

chiefly British English spelling of rancor; for ending see -or. Related: Rancourous.



c.1200, from Old French rancor "bitterness, resentment; grief, affliction," from Late Latin rancorem (nominative rancor) "rancidness, a stinking smell" (Palladius); "grudge, bitterness" (Hieronymus and in Late Latin), from Latin rancere "to stink" (see rancid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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