Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cause persistent irritation or resentment.
  • intransitive verb To feel or express irritation or resentment about something.
  • intransitive verb To become sore or inflamed; fester.
  • intransitive verb To cause (someone) to feel irritated or resentful.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To operate rankly or with painful effect; cause inflammation or irritation; produce a festering wound: used of either physical or mental influences.
  • To continue or grow rank or strong; continue to be painful or irritating; remain in an inflamed or ulcerous condition; fester, as a physical or mental wound or sore.
  • To irritate; inflame; cause to fester.
  • To corrode.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb rare To cause to fester; to make sore; to inflame.
  • intransitive verb To become, or be, rank; to grow rank or strong; to be inflamed; to fester; -- used literally and figuratively.
  • intransitive verb To produce a festering or inflamed effect; to cause a sore; -- used literally and figuratively

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, intransitive To cause irritation or deep bitterness.
  • verb intransitive To fester.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb gnaw into; make resentful or angry

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English ranclen, from Old French rancler, alteration of draoncler, from draoncle, festering sore, ulcer, from Medieval Latin dracunculus, from diminutive of dracō, dracōn-, serpent, dragon (probably in reference to the fiery red color and pain of a sore), from Latin, serpent, fabulous serpentine beast; see dragon.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1320. From Old French rancler, draoncler ("to ulcerate, to form a boil"), from draoncle ("a boil"), from Latin dracunculus ("little serpent"), diminutive of dracō ("serpent, dragon").

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