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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Rankle \Ran"kle\ (r[a^][ng]"k'l), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Rankled (-k'ld); p. pr. & vb. n. Rankling (-kl[i^]ng).] [From Rank, a.] 1. To become, or be, rank; to grow rank or strong; to be inflamed; to fester; -- used literally and figuratively. [1913 Webster] A malady that burns and rankles inward. --Rowe. [1913 Webster] This would have left a rankling wound in the hearts of the people. --Burke. [1913 Webster] 2. To produce a festering or inflamed effect; to cause a sore; -- used literally and figuratively; as, a splinter rankles in the flesh; the words rankled in his bosom. [1913 Webster]