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rankle

[rang-kuh l] /ˈræŋ kəl/
verb (used without object), rankled, rankling.
1.
(of unpleasant feelings, experiences, etc.) to continue to cause keen irritation or bitter resentment within the mind; fester; be painful.
verb (used with object), rankled, rankling.
2.
to cause keen irritation or bitter resentment in:
His colleague's harsh criticism rankled him for days.
Origin of rankle
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English ranclen < Middle French rancler, Old French raoncler, variant of draoncler to fester, derivative of draoncle a sore < Late Latin dracunculus small serpent, diminutive of Latin dracō serpent; see dragon, carbuncle
Related forms
ranklingly, adverb
unrankled, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. irritate, gall, chafe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rankles
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • John Bull is not as pachydermatous as once he was, and a chance word of Brother Jonathan's penetrates and rankles.

    Americanisms and Briticisms Brander Matthews
  • The king has suffered; it rankles in his mind; and he will avenge himself.

    The Man in the Iron Mask Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • No feeling so rankles in the mind as the sense of uncompensated labor.

    The Itching Palm William R Scott
  • That's it; it's because I'm afraid that he would lick me that it rankles so.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
  • The shame of this loss yet rankles deep in the heart of the king.

    Zenobia William Ware
  • It rankles occasionally to this day, though he is now a stout lad of fifteen.

    Just Sixteen. Susan Coolidge
  • The king has suffered; it rankles in his mind: and he will avenge himself.

    The Vicomte de Bragelonne Alexandre Dumas
British Dictionary definitions for rankles

rankle

/ˈræŋkəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to cause severe and continuous irritation, anger, or bitterness; fester: his failure to win still rankles
Word Origin
C14 ranclen, from Old French draoncler to fester, from draoncle ulcer, from Latin dracunculus small serpent, from dracō serpent; see dragon
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 rankles

rankle

v.

c.1300, "to fester," from Old French rancler, earlier raoncler, draoncler "to suppurate, run," from draoncle "abscess, festering sore," from Medieval Latin dracunculus, literally "little dragon," diminutive of Latin draco "serpent, dragon" (see dragon). The notion is of an ulcer caused by a snake's bite. Meaning "cause to fester" is from c.1400. Related: Rankled; rankling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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