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Early 13th century, from Old French rancor, from Latin rancor (rancidity, grudge, rancor), from ranceō (be rotten or putrid, stink), from which also English rancid.[1]


rancour (countable and uncountable, plural rancours)

  1. Britain and Canada spelling of rancor
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 4, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      By some paradoxical evolution rancour and intolerance have been established in the vanguard of primitive Christianity. Mrs. Spoker, in common with many of the stricter disciples of righteousness, was as inclement in demeanour as she was cadaverous in aspect.


  1. ^ rancour” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.

Old French[edit]


rancour f (oblique plural rancours, nominative singular rancour, nominative plural rancours)

  1. Late Anglo-Norman spelling of rancur
    il se douterent qe nous eussiens conceu vers eux rancour & indignacion