Meaning of REACH in English


I. reach 1 S1 W1 /riːtʃ/ BrE AmE verb

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: ræcan ]

1 . DEVELOPMENT [transitive] if someone or something reaches a particular point in their development or in a process or competition, they get to that point:

Chelsea could reach the final of the European Cup.

reach the point/level/stage etc

I had reached the point where I was earning a good salary.

The kids have reached the age when they can care for themselves.


In everyday English, people often use get to rather than reach :

The kids have got to the age where they can care for themselves.

2 . RATE/AMOUNT [transitive] if something reaches a particular rate, amount etc, it increases until it is at that rate or amount:

By 2008, that figure is expected to reach 7 million.

wind speeds reaching up to 180 mph

Prices rose steadily to reach record levels.

3 . AGREE [transitive] to agree on something or decide something after a lot of discussion or thought

reach a decision/agreement etc

The theatre has reached an agreement with striking actors.

It took the jury three days to reach a verdict.

The talks will continue until a conclusion is reached.

4 . reach a target/goal to achieve what you wanted to achieve:

We hope to reach our £1 million target by the autumn.


a) [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] to move your arm in order to touch or lift something with your hand:

She reached into her bag and produced a business card.

He reached down to help her to her feet.

reach for

Kelly reached for his gun.

Luisa reached out her hand to stroke the cat.

b) [intransitive, transitive not in progressive] to touch something by stretching out your arm:

It’s no good – I can’t reach.

She’s too small to reach the table.

c) [transitive] to get something from a high place by stretching up your arm

reach something down

She fell while reaching down a vase from the top shelf.

6 . LENGTH/HEIGHT [intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive not in progressive] to be big enough, long enough etc to get to a particular point:

The phone lead isn’t long enough to reach the bedroom.

a skirt that reaches halfway down her legs

reach as far as something/reach down to something

Her hair reaches down to her waist.

7 . ARRIVE [transitive] to arrive at a place:

We reached London late at night.

The pyramids can be reached by public transport.


In everyday English, people often use get to rather than reach :

We got to the airport just in time.

You can get to the pyramids by public transport.

8 . SPEAK TO SOMEBODY [transitive] if you reach someone, you succeed in speaking to them on the telephone SYN contact :

I can probably reach him on his mobile.

9 . BE SEEN/HEARD [transitive] if a message, television programme etc reaches a lot of people, they hear it or see it:

Cable TV reaches a huge audience.

10 . INFORMATION [transitive] if information reaches you, you hear about it:

The news reached us in Lahore.

11 . COMMUNICATE [transitive] to succeed in making someone understand or accept what you tell them SYN get through to :

I just can’t seem to reach Ed anymore.

12 . reach for the stars to aim for something that is very difficult to achieve

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ nouns

▪ reach a point/stage

I’ve reached the point in my life where I need a new challenge.

▪ reach a level

He eventually reached the level of Senior Instructor.

▪ reach an age

The payments will be made until the child reaches college age.

▪ reach the end

Some of these power stations are reaching the end of their useful life.

▪ reach maturity (=be fully grown or developed)

It takes ten years for these fish to reach maturity.

▪ reach your peak (=be the best or most successful that you will ever be )

Most players don’t reach their peak until their late twenties.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)

■ nouns

▪ reach a decision

I hope that they reach a decision soon.

▪ reach a conclusion

We reached the conclusion that the man had been murdered.

▪ reach a verdict

The jury failed to reach a verdict.

▪ reach an agreement/compromise/settlement (=decide on an arrangement that is acceptable to both groups)

Substantial progress was made toward reaching an agreement.

▪ reach agreement/consensus (=agree about something)

The experts seem unable to reach consensus on this point.

• • •


▪ arrive to get to the place you are going to:

I arrived at the party at around 7 o'clock.


They were due to arrive home from Spain yesterday.

▪ get to arrive somewhere. Get is much more common in everyday English than arrive :

What time do you usually get to work?


I’ll call you when I get home.

▪ reach to arrive somewhere, especially after a long journey:

When we finally reached the port, we were all very tired.

▪ come if someone comes, they arrive at the place where you are:

She came home yesterday.


What time did the plumber say he’d come?

▪ turn up ( also show up ) informal to arrive somewhere, especially when someone is waiting for you:

I’d arranged to meet Tom, but he never turned up.

▪ roll in informal to arrive somewhere later than you should and not seem worried about it:

Rebecca usually rolls in around noon.

▪ get in to arrive somewhere – used especially about people arriving home, or a plane, train etc arriving at an airport, station etc:

I usually get in at around 6 o'clock.


What time did your plane get in?

▪ come in if a plane, train, or ship comes in, it arrives in the place where you are:

We liked to watch the cruise ships come in.

▪ land if a plane or the passengers on it land, they arrive on the ground:

We finally landed at 2 a.m.


They watched the planes taking off and landing.

reach out to somebody phrasal verb

to show people that you are interested in them and want to listen to them:

So far, his administration has failed to reach out to hard line Republicans.

II. reach 2 BrE AmE noun

1 . [singular, uncountable] the distance that you can stretch out your arm to touch something

out of/beyond (sb’s) reach

Keep chemicals out of the reach of children.

within reach (of somebody)

Keep a glass of water within reach.

2 . [singular, uncountable] within (easy) reach of something close to a place:

The beach is within easy reach of the hotel.

3 . [singular, uncountable] the limit of someone’s power or ability to do something

beyond the reach of somebody

He lives in Paraguay, well beyond the reach of the British authorities.

4 . reaches [plural]

a) the parts of a place that are furthest from the centre

the further/outer reaches of something

the further reaches of the jungle

b) the straight part of a river between two bends:

the upper reaches of the Nile

5 . the higher/lower reaches of something the high or low levels of an organization or system:

They lingered in the lower reaches of the Football League.

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