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From Latin ācris, from ācer (sharp); probably assimilated in form to acid. Compare eager.


  • IPA(key): /ˈæk.ɹɪd/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -ækɹɪd
  • Hyphenation: ac‧rid



acrid (comparative acrider or more acrid, superlative acridest or most acrid)

  1. Sharp and harsh, or bitter and not to the taste.
    Synonyms: pungent, (archaic) acrimonious
    Antonyms: delectable, delicious, tasteful
    • 2013 June 29, “Unspontaneous combustion”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8842, page 29:
      Since the mid-1980s, when Indonesia first began to clear its bountiful forests on an industrial scale in favour of lucrative palm-oil plantations, “haze” has become an almost annual occurrence in South-East Asia. The cheapest way to clear logged woodland is to burn it, producing an acrid cloud of foul white smoke that, carried by the wind, can cover hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles.
  2. Causing heat and irritation.
    Synonym: corrosive
    The bombardier beetle sprays acrid secretions to defend itself.
  3. (figurative) Caustic; bitter; bitterly irritating.
    Synonyms: acerbic, acrimonious
    That man has an acrid temper.
    • 2020 September 29, Jonathan Martin, Alexander Burns, “With Cross Talk, Lies and Mockery, Trump Tramples Decorum in Debate With Biden”, in New York Times[2]:
      In a chaotic, 90-minute back-and-forth, the two major party nominees expressed a level of acrid contempt for each other unheard-of in modern American politics.

Derived terms