n. & v.
n. 1 a a position in a hierarchy, a grade of advancement. b a distinct social class, a grade of dignity or achievement (people of all ranks; in the top rank of performers). c high social position (persons of rank). d a place in a scale. 2 a row or line. 3 a single line of soldiers drawn up abreast. 4 Brit. a place where taxis stand to await customers. 5 order, array. 6 Chess a row of squares across the board (cf. FILE(2)).
v. 1 intr. have rank or place (ranks next to the king). 2 tr. classify, give a certain grade to. 3 tr. arrange (esp. soldiers) in a rank or ranks. 4 US a tr. take precedence of (a person) in respect to rank. b intr. have the senior position among the members of a hierarchy etc. break rank fail to remain in line. close ranks maintain solidarity. keep rank remain in line. other ranks soldiers other than commissioned officers. rank and fashion high society. rank and file ordinary undistinguished people (orig. = the ranks). the ranks the common soldiers, i.e. privates and corporals. rise from the ranks 1 (of a private or a non-commissioned officer) receive a commission. 2 (of a self-made man or woman) advance by one's own exertions.
[ OF ranc, renc, f. Gmc, rel. to RING(1) ]