May 04, 2016
- acrid (adjective)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : biting or bitter in taste or odor2 : bitterly irritating to the feelings
- How do you use it?
- "From time to time, the incessant murmur of the creek, pouring over and around the larger stones, was interrupted by the thunder of trains roaring out upon the trestle overhead, passing on with the furious gallop of their hundreds of iron wheels, leaving in the air a taint of hot oil, acrid smoke, and reek of escaping steam." (Frank Norris, _The Octopus_)
- Are you a word wiz?
"Acrid," which has been in use in English since the early 1600s, comes from a modification of the Latin word "acer," meaning "sharp." Which of the following words do you think also traces back to "acer"?We're eager to tell you that "eager" and "acrid" both trace back to "acer," the Latin word for "sharp." Although the current meaning of "eager," "having or showing an impatient or enthusiastic desire or interest," doesn't really hint at this connection, its original meaning does. When "eager" was first used in the 1300s, it meant, in fact, "sharp." Other "acer" words include "acrimony," meaning "harsh or biting sharpness especially of words, manner, or disposition," and "vinegar," meaning "a sour liquid obtained from cider, wine, or malt and used to flavor or preserve foods."