American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Unpleasantly sharp, pungent, or bitter to the taste or smell. See Synonyms at bitter.
- adj. Caustic in language or tone.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Sharp or biting to the tongue or integuments; bitterly pungent; irritating: as, acrid salts. Acrid substances are those which excite in the organs of taste a sensation of pungency and heat, and when applied to the skin irritate and inflame it. Acrid poisons, including those also called corrosive and escharotic, are those which irritate, corrode, or burn the parts to which they are applied, producing an intense burning sensation, and acute pain in the alimentary canal. They include concentrated acids and alkalis, compounds of mercury, arsenic, copper, etc.
- Figuratively, severe; virulent; violent; stinging: as, “acrid temper,” Cowper, Charity.
- n. An acrid poison: as, “a powerful acrid,” Pereira, Mat. Med.
- n. One of a class of morbific substances supposed by the humorists to exist in the humors.
- adj. Sharp and harsh, or bitter and not to the taste; pungent.
- adj. Causing heat and irritation; corrosive
- adj. Caustic; bitter; bitterly irritating
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Sharp and harsh, or bitter and not, to the taste; pungent.
- adj. Causing heat and irritation; corrosive.
- adj. Caustic; bitter; bitterly irritating.
- adj. strong and sharp
- adj. harsh or corrosive in tone
- From Latin ācris, from ācer ("sharp"); probably assimilated in form to acid. Cf. eager. (Wiktionary)
- From Latin ācer, sharp (probably modeled on acid); see ak- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This bacon tastes intensely smoky, the sort that comes only from long exposure to cool wood smoke, and not of meat soaked in acrid liquid smoke flavoring.”
“I hasten to spit it out, but all day my lips are still hot and acrid from the brief experiment.”
“It was more a thing of his head than his heart, revealing itself mainly in short, acrid speeches, meant to be clever, and indubitably disagreeable.”
“It's pronounced, as I'm sure you already knew, with the accent on the final 'a', not in a way to echo "acrid", though the second would be entirely suitable.”
“The hesitancy, the moral doubt of her conversation with Langham, seemed to have vanished wholly in a kind of acrid self-assertion.”
“Unfortunately, he offended Jerrold, by using the word "acrid" as applied to his writing, instead of some other word, which he could not think of at the moment.”
“I hesitated a little, but as he pressed me, and would have an answer, I said that I did not feel quite so sure of his kindly judgment on Thoreau's books; and it so chanced that I used the word "acrid" for lack of a better, in endeavoring to express my idea of Jerrold's way of looking at men and books.”
“His nose went up in the air and quested to windward along the wind that brought the message, and he read the air with his nose as a man might read a newspaper — the salt smells of the seashore and of the dank muck of mangrove swamps at low tide, the spicy fragrances of tropic vegetation, and the faint, most faint, acrid tingle of smoke from smudgy fires.”
“Women screamed as they called their sons home, and men vomited in the streets from the acrid white tear gas that filled the air.”
“And there she was, boiling fish-chowder in a soot-covered pot, her glorious eyes inflamed by the acrid smoke of the open fire.”
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When exasperated, vexed or distressed.
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