Definition of acrid in US English:



  • 1Having an irritatingly strong and unpleasant taste or smell.

    ‘acrid fumes’
    • ‘She wrinkled her nose at the acrid, vinegary fumes emitted from the bottle.’
    • ‘The acrid smell of burning tyre rubber is in the air.’
    • ‘At its height more than 100 firefighters fought the blaze which sent a huge plume of black, acrid smoke billowing 1,000 ft into the air.’
    • ‘This could lead not merely to low alcohol content but to acrid and pungent tastes and aromas as well.’
    • ‘The burning heavy plastic caused acrid smoke which left a thick layer of soot on over everything in the room and means an awful lot of cleaning up.’
    • ‘The powder instantly vanished with a loud WHOOSH, leaving behind an acrid smell and a small cloud of gray smoke.’
    • ‘Here, in a different hemisphere, the acrid smell of firework smoke makes me think of cold nights, short days, cuddling up inside next to the heater.’
    • ‘The television screen cracked and blew out, smoke and the acrid smell of burning rubber spilling from it.’
    • ‘The acrid smell of smoke filled my nostrils until it choked my very breath from my throat.’
    • ‘I couldn't even smell the usual acrid scent of burning leaves - so I knew it wasn't nearby.’
    • ‘Smith, who lives above the damaged flat, said the hallway had been filled with smoke and an acrid smell of burning.’
    • ‘As we gained it, the wind shifted, and a cloud of smoke, black and acrid, stung my eyes and made me cough.’
    • ‘Uses The roots of wild plants are generally unpleasantly acrid in flavour on account of the presence of crystals of calcium oxalate, which are clustered particularly thickly under the skin.’
    • ‘Huge bright red and white flashes were seen in the distance and the air quickly filled with smoke and the acrid smell of cordite and sulphur.’
    • ‘There was an acrid smell and smoke was starting to come under the door.’
    • ‘It's unseasonably warm and sunny, as if God is trying to give New Yorkers a break and the sickly sweet smell of decaying flowers mixes with the acrid smoke.’
    • ‘It has a warm energy with bitter and acrid or pungent flavors.’
    • ‘The air possessed a pungent, acrid smell because the cigarette had burned through a filter stub in the overflowing ashtray.’
    • ‘Strong winds from 433 miles away had carried the smoke and acrid smell of forest fires all the way here.’
    • ‘Even twenty yards from the room, she could still smell the acrid green smoke.’
    pungent, bitter, sharp, sour, tart, harsh, acid, acidic, acidulated, vinegary, acerbic, acetic, acetous
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Angry and bitter.
      ‘an acrid farewell’


Early 18th century: formed irregularly from Latin acer, acri- ‘sharp, pungent’ + -id, probably influenced by acid.