Definition of rankle in US English:

rankle

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a comment, event, or fact) cause annoyance or resentment that persists.

    ‘the casual manner of his dismissal still rankles’
    • ‘The issues they raise often have their roots in the past and yet continue to rankle.’
    • ‘The behaviour of some people after Munich rankled with me very much, and continues to do so, especially when the anniversary comes around.’
    • ‘But Keating's devaluing of Anglo-Australia and of the links with Britain rankled with sections of the British-descended majority.’
    • ‘What really seemed to rankle with her was his statement that he was ashamed of the affair.’
    • ‘The fact that Jackson escaped prosecution rankles.’
    • ‘I think we acquitted ourselves really well in the Champions League, but it still rankles with most of us that we are out of it.’
    • ‘What especially rankles with Vosseler, 57, is that he was not on the guest list for a high - profile party to celebrate Schröder's 60th birthday last April.’
    • ‘Playing down to his sexist expectations worked, but the idea that because she was a woman she must not be a threat still rankled.’
    • ‘It also must have rankled with the Scottish Parliament because nurses themselves are usually barred from speaking to the press.’
    • ‘He is keen to put his high-profile role in the disastrous Lions tour of Australia, behind him, although four months on certain matters still rankle.’
    • ‘Adams' sarcasm did not solely derive from his jealousy of Franklin's easy popularity, though that always rankled with him.’
    • ‘This rankled with me two years ago and I still find it very irksome today.’
    • ‘The recent US accounting scandals have rankled with Edelman.’
    • ‘Though gratitude to America for coming to our rescue in the Second World War continues, aspects of the shared adventure rankled at the time.’
    • ‘Your bank statements provide some compensation, but it still rankles.’
    • ‘The famous analyst's remark that Goodwin had been dubbed a ‘megalomaniac’ clearly rankles, and Mathewson defends his chief executive's strategy and abilities to take the group to its next stage.’
    • ‘Broadly, he says, his government has listened and tried to understand business, but there are issues which still rankle.’
    • ‘It rankles with him that his ankle created so much trouble: it led to his missing half of last season, most of this one, and provided him with pain and depression during darker moments when he thought he would never return to the game.’
    • ‘The questions were legitimate but they rankled with Murray, who can be as delicate off-court as he is destructively powerful on it.’
    • ‘The mildly teasing tone in the girl's voice took most of the sting out of her last comment, yet it still rankled.’
    1. 1.1with object Annoy or irritate (someone)
      ‘Lisa was rankled by his assertion’
      • ‘But something about having to legislate those rules of fair play rankles me.’
      • ‘It was a mystery, and like all mysteries it rankled me.’
      • ‘This question had rankled lawmakers and scholars of the Constitution since the administration of Woodrow Wilson.’
      • ‘Edison's corporate identity also rankles the students and is one of the major themes of their rallies and meetings.’
      • ‘The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith held classes last month on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, rankling some students because the campus did not recognize the holiday by closing.’
      • ‘As is the case with other institutions, the fine print of implementation is smudged and rankles the staff.’
      • ‘Well, there is a thing or two that might rankle people on either side, but Scott has his head in the right place.’
      • ‘Yet it rankles consumers, who perceive differential pricing as unfair.’
      • ‘It is exactly that sort of sentiment that rankles me the most.’
      • ‘It really rankles me when I see faulty advice such as the following being circulated to unsuspecting webmasters.’
      • ‘It must have rankled her to see other people rise to the top, even Dowd and Gail Collins, the editorial page editor.’
      • ‘You could see that it started to rankle him a little bit.’
      • ‘In particular the feeling that he would no longer do duty for India, which he had served with distinction, rankles him.’
      • ‘But what most rankles male voters is the accusation by gender feminists that male officials do not act on behalf of the interests of their female constituents.’
      • ‘Those attacks have rankled his opponents, and raised, or lowered, the bar on campaign discourse, several Democrats said.’
      • ‘He rankled the teachers last spring when in the middle of a policy meeting with the union president he reportedly demanded a million-dollar campaign contribution.’
      • ‘Also, it rankles me to see so much media attention paid to sponsored snowboarders and skiers who are just jumping out of helicopters to do their descents.’
      • ‘The police have also been less than welcoming, which rankles John intensely.’
      • ‘This action must have rankled Larry, who, like all good politicians, loves a media opportunity with kids.’
      • ‘The experience rankled Benjamin, since the show is supposed to offer public instruction in the overall process of creating a candidate.’
      cause resentment to, cause annoyance to, annoy, upset, anger, irritate, offend, affront, displease, exasperate, infuriate, provoke, irk, vex, pique, nettle, gall, gnaw at, eat away at, grate on
      View synonyms
  • 2archaic (of a wound or sore) continue to be painful; fester.

    suppurate, become septic, form pus, secrete pus, discharge, run, weep, ooze
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French rancler, from rancle, draoncle ‘festering sore’, from an alteration of medieval Latin dracunculus, diminutive of draco ‘serpent’.

Pronunciation

rankle

/ˈræŋk(ə)l//ˈraNGk(ə)l/