Word of the Day – Rankle

Word of the Day : December 9, 2021


verb RANK-ul

What It Means

Rankle means “to cause anger, irritation, or bitterness.”

// Rae Ann’s snooty attitude and rude behavior rankled the host, but he smiled to hide his irritation.

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“Just one caveat: big swaths of this book are fiction, which may rankle readers who are eager to sink their teeth into a good nonfiction book.” — Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, 24 Sept. 2021

Did You Know?

When rankle was first used in English, it meant “to fester,” and that meaning is related to French words referring to a sore and tracing to Latin dracunculus. The Latin is from draco, the word for a serpent and the source of English’s dragon. The transition from serpents to sores is apparently from people associating the appearance of certain ulcers or tumors to small serpents.