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

  • adj. Having the disagreeable odor or taste of decomposing oils or fats; rank.
  • adj. Repugnant; nasty: rancid remarks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Being rank in taste or smell.
  • adj. offensive

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having a rank smell or taste, from chemical change or decomposition; musty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Rankly offensive to the senses; having a tainted smell or taste; fetid or soured from chemical change.
  • Repulsive to the moral sense; disgusting; loathsome.

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

  • adj. (used of decomposing oils or fats) having a rank smell or taste usually due to a chemical change or decomposition
  • adj. smelling of fermentation or staleness


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

Latin rancidus, from rancēre, to stink, be rotten.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin rancidus ("stinking, rank, rancid, offensive"), from ranceō ("to stink") (sense in Middle Latin), from whence also English rancor, in Latin used only in present participle rancens ("stinking").


  • But if the expressions of opinion are in rancid tones, then just like the stench of carion, people are turned away.

    Upon the Notion of Dogs and Expatriots in Mexico

  • In the following installments I will explore the meat of his argument (best described as rancid and decaying), which centered on criticism of various hominid fossils and a few arguments mirroring those presented by Jonathan Wells 'book

    Saint Gasoline

  • Why is it that when progressives talk about the benefits our country could reap from say, investing in mass transit, or overhauling our school lunch program so that it might actually nourish our kids instead of poison them, too many folks on the right start to spew the kind of rancid rhetoric I've quoted here?

    Kerry Trueman: Why Ridicule Risotto?

  • Cocoa-butter in itself is quite harmless -- usually non-irritating (unless it is "rancid") -- and it gives some mechanical protection, in the same way as vaseline or any kind of fat or oil would do, provided, of course, it is in the right place to catch and entangle the spermatazoa and thus prevent their uniting with the ovum.

    Safe Marriage A Return to Sanity

  • A pungent reek of some kind of rancid fat or oil assailed his nostrils.

    Moran of the Lady Letty

  • She was very dirty and smelt abominably of some kind of rancid oil.

    Moran of the Lady Letty

  • In some animals it may be produced by momentary contact; it descends to other animals of various descriptions; there is no doubt that it is occasionally hereditary: it is generated by effluvia of many various kinds; almost every kind of rancid or stimulating food is the parent of it.

    The Dog

  • Then they like to hurl packets of smelly foods such as rancid butter and other food items at the fishermen.

    Latest Articles

  • But ... the only people who believe this kind of rancid propaganda .... are the FOX Addicts.

    Propeller Most Popular Stories

  • "Sensory tests showed that these failed samples had defective flavors such as rancid, fusty, and musty," concluded the study.

    The Orange County Register - News Headlines : Top Stories


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

  • There is something intrinsically unpleasant about this word!

    January 29, 2008