/ ræŋk; NAmE / noun , verb , adjective
POSITION IN ORGANIZATION / ARMY, etc.
[ U , C ] the position, especially a high position, that sb has in a particular organization, society, etc. :
She was not used to mixing with people of high social rank.
He rose through the ranks to become managing director.
Within months she was elevated to ministerial rank.
—see also ranking
[ C , U ] the position that sb has in the army, navy, police, etc. :
He was soon promoted to the rank of captain.
officers of junior / senior rank
a campaign to attract more women into the military ranks
officers, and other ranks (= people who are not officers)
The colonel was stripped of his rank (= was given a lower position, especially as a punishment) .
the ranks [ pl. ] the position of ordinary soldiers rather than officers :
He served in the ranks for most of the war.
He rose from the ranks (= from being an ordinary soldier) to become a warrant officer.
[ sing. ] the degree to which sb/sth is of high quality :
a painter of the first rank
Britain is no longer in the front rank of world powers.
The findings are arranged in rank order according to performance.
MEMBERS OF GROUP
the ranks [ pl. ] the members of a particular group or organization :
We have a number of international players in our ranks.
At 50, he was forced to join the ranks of the unemployed.
There were serious divisions within the party's own ranks.
LINE / ROW
[ C ] a line or row of soldiers, police, etc. standing next to each other :
They watched as ranks of marching infantry passed the window.
[ C ] a line or row of people or things :
massed ranks of spectators
The trees grew in serried ranks (= very closely together) .
—see also taxi rank
[ C ] ( statistics ) a number that gives the position of a member of a set of numbers
- break ranks
—more at close (I) verb , pull verb
(not used in the progressive tenses)
rank (sb) (as sth) to give sb/sth a particular position on a scale according to quality, importance, success, etc.; to have a position of this kind :
[ vn ]
The tasks have been ranked in order of difficulty.
She is currently the highest ranked player in the world.
[ vn - adj ]
Last year, he was ranked second in his age group.
[ v - adj ]
At the height of her career she ranked second in the world.
[ vn - n ]
The university is ranked number one in the country for engineering.
[ v , often + adv. / prep. ]
The restaurant ranks among the finest in town.
It certainly doesn't rank as his greatest win.
This must rank with (= be as good as) the greatest movies ever made.
[ v ] ( NAmE )
You just don't rank (= you're not good enough) .
PUT IN LINE / ROW
[ vn ] [ usually passive ] to arrange objects in a line or row
having a strong unpleasant smell :
The house was full of the rank smell of urine.
[ only before noun ] used to emphasize a particular quality, state, etc. :
an example of rank stupidity
The winning horse was a rank outsider .
( of plants, etc. ) growing too thickly
noun and verb Middle English (in the sense row of things ): from Old French ranc , of Germanic origin; related to ring (I)
adjective Old English ranc proud, rebellious, sturdy , also fully grown , of Germanic origin. An early sense luxuriant gave rise to too luxuriant , which led to the negative connotation of modern usage.