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

  • intransitive v. To cause persistent irritation or resentment.
  • intransitive v. To become sore or inflamed; fester.
  • transitive v. To embitter; irritate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cause irritation or deep bitterness.
  • v. To fester.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

  • v. gnaw into; make resentful or angry


Middle English ranclen, from Old French rancler, alteration of draoncler, from draoncle, festering sore, from Latin dracunculus, diminutive of dracō, dracōn-, serpent; see dragon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.