acrid

Acrid is almost always used to describe a smell, and it ain't a pretty one. Acrid is the nasty sting that you feel in your nose when you walk by a building that just burned down — it's sulfur mixed with smoke.

You can also use acrid to describe someone's tone or general demeanor when they are being nasty. Someone about to do something evil might first give an acrid sneer, or speak in a chillingly acrid tone of voice, or even shudder as if they'd just bit into something with an acrid taste.

Primary Meanings of acrid

1.
adj
strong and sharp
2.
adj
harsh or corrosive in tone
Full Definitions of acrid
1

adj strong and sharp

“the acrid smell of burning rubber”
Synonyms:
pungent
tasty
pleasing to the sense of taste
2

adj harsh or corrosive in tone

“her acrid remarks make her many enemies”
Synonyms:
acerb, acerbic, acid, bitter, blistering, caustic, sulfurous, sulphurous, virulent, vitriolic
unpleasant
disagreeable to the senses, to the mind, or feelings

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.