Meaning of RANK in English


I. rank 1 W3 /ræŋk/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: renc , reng 'line, place, row' ]

1 . POSITION IN ARMY/ORGANIZATION [uncountable and countable] the position or level that someone holds in an organization, especially in the police or the army, navy etc

rank of

officers below the rank of Colonel

He held (=had) the rank of Chief Inspector.

rise to/be promoted to/attain the rank of something

During the war Harold had risen to the rank of major.

high/senior/low/junior rank

an officer of junior rank

He was sentenced to prison and stripped of his rank (=had his rank taken from him) .

2 . the ranks

a) the people who belong to a particular organization or group

in/within ... ranks

There were splits in the party ranks on this issue.

The Democrats now face opposition from within their own ranks.

the ranks of

Most are recruited from the ranks of people who studied Latin and Greek at university.

That summer I left school and joined the ranks of (=became one of) the unemployed.

b) all the members of the army, navy etc who are not officers:

He rose from the ranks to become a Field Marshal (=he became an officer after starting as an ordinary soldier) .

3 . break ranks to behave in a way which is different from other members of a group, especially when they expect your support

break ranks with

He was the first to break ranks with Ceausescu and publicly criticise his policies.

4 . LINE [countable] a rank of people or things is a line or row of them

rank of

Silently, ranks of police edged closer to the crowds.

Everyone lines up in ranks, all facing the instructor.

rank after rank/rank upon rank (=a lot of things or people in a row)

On the shelves were rank after rank of liquor bottles.

5 . pull rank (on somebody) informal to use your authority over someone to make them do what you want, especially unfairly:

You may just have to pull rank and tell them.

6 . QUALITY [singular] the degree to which something or someone is of high quality:

While none of these pictures is of the first rank (=of the highest quality) , some are of interest.

7 . SOCIAL CLASS [uncountable and countable] someone’s position in society:

people of all ranks in society

He came from a family of rank (=one from a high social class) .

8 . TAXI [countable] ( also taxi rank ) a place where taxis wait in a line to be hired:

I called a taxi from the rank outside.

⇨ close ranks at ↑ close 1 (17)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ hold a rank

From 1 Dec 1914 to 31 Oct 1915 he held the rank of captain.

▪ rise to/achieve/reach a rank ( also attain a rank formal )

He rose to the rank of colonel.

▪ be promoted to a rank

He was promoted to the rank of Captain.

▪ be stripped of your rank (=have it taken from you as a punishment)

The officer was stripped of his rank for his part in affair.

■ adjectives

▪ high/low/middle rank

Her father had been an army officer of fairly high rank.

▪ senior/junior rank

He held a junior rank in the infantry.

▪ cabinet/ministerial rank

As promised, a minister of cabinet rank has now been appointed to supervise its operation

II. rank 2 BrE AmE verb

1 .

a) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition, not in progressive] to have a particular position in a list of people or things that have been put in order of quality or importance

rank as/among

Today’s match ranks as one of the most exciting games that these two have ever played.

We rank among the safest countries in the world.

rank with/alongside (=be of the same importance or quality)

Cuvier wanted to turn natural history into a science that would rank with physics and chemistry.

rank high/low

He ranked high among the pioneers of 20th century chemical technology.

b) [transitive] to decide the position of someone or something on a list based on quality or importance

be ranked fourth/number one etc

Agassi was at that time ranked sixth in the world.

It is not always easy to rank the students in order of ability.

2 . [transitive] American English to have a higher rank than someone else SYN outrank :

A general ranks a captain.

3 . [transitive] to arrange objects in a line or row:

There were several pairs of riding boots ranked neatly in the hall.

III. rank 3 BrE AmE adjective

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: ranc ]

1 . if something is rank, it has a very strong unpleasant smell

rank smell/odour

the rank odour of sweat and urine

2 . [only before noun] used to emphasize a bad or undesirable quality SYN total :

an example of this government’s rank stupidity

They make us look like rank amateurs (=not at all good or professional) .

3 . rank plants are too thick and have spread everywhere:

rank grass and weeds

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.