Meaning of RANK in English


I. ˈraŋk, ˈraiŋk adjective

( often -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English ranc overbearing, strong, brave, mature, ostentatious; akin to Middle Dutch & Middle Low German ranc tall and thin, slender, Old Norse rakkr straight, slender, bold, Old English riht right — more at right

1. chiefly dialect

a. : strong , mighty , powerful

b. : headlong , violent


a. : luxuriant or vigorous in growth : grown to immoderate height : grown coarse

rank weeds

seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good — Gen 41:5 (Authorized Version)

among the forms of rank plant life common in the hot humidity … were great tree ferns — R.W.Murray

b. : covered with a vigorous growth especially of vegetation : producing luxuriantly : excessively rich and fertile

its garden was … rank , too thickly crowded with trees and bushes and plants — Rebecca West

3. : offensively gross or coarse : indecent , foul

objected to his rank language

4. obsolete : grown too large : gross , swollen

5. chiefly dialect

a. : crowded together

b. : numerous


a. : conspicuously or shockingly poor, stupid, or wrong

must lecture him on his rank disloyalty — David Walden

b. : complete — used as an intensive

that is … the opinion of a rank outsider — G.W.Johnson

most of the actors were not big names, but rank beginners — Dean Jennings

7. archaic

a. : filled with lust

b. : ruttish

the ewes, being rank , in the end of autumn turned to the rams — Shakespeare

8. : offending with or as if with a strong rancid odor or taste : having a heavy offensive smell

wreathed in smoke from a rank cigar — Ralph Watson

the heat seemed to purify the rank air — Willa Cather

9. : marked by putridity : corrupt , festering

the rank wounds of the dying men

10. : unreasonably high in amount : excessive

a rank modus

a rank rate of interest

11. : projecting to an unusual extent beyond a surface

Synonyms: see flagrant

II. adverb

: rankly

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle French renc, ranc, reng, rang line, place, row, rank, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hring ring, circle, circle of warriors, meeting — more at ring


a. : a straight row or line : range , series

a rank of marble pillars — Sax Rohmer

ranks of parcel lockers — Lewis Mumford

great pines, whose ranks climbed to the mountaintops — Agnes M. Cleaveland

b. : a series or set of organ pipes of the same construction and quality having one pipe for each digital

c. Britain : stand 6

a taxi at the rank just at the end of the street — Katherine Mansfield

2. : a row of people

the men and women … were standing in two separate ranks — Ivor Jones

3. : an orderly arrangement : array , formation

the company break ranks — Lafcadio Hearn


a. : a line of soldiers ranged side by side in close order

armored ranks of men-at-arms — John Reed

— compare file

b. ranks plural : armed forces : army

c. ranks plural : the body of enlisted men

he rose from the ranks

5. : an aggregate of individuals classed together : a division of the social order — usually used in plural

excluded from the ranks of organized labor — Oscar Handlin

would consider any opportunity … provided it is in your executive ranks — Phoenix Flame

keep the ranks of fire fighters thin — Richard Ginder

6. : a row of squares extending horizontally across a chessboard

each player's pieces are placed on his first rank and his pawns on his second rank


a. : a position or order in relation to others in a group : relative standing

occupied a particularly high rank among the dramas — Matthew Arnold

declining to consider him a novelist of the first rank — Granville Hicks

b. : a degree or position of dignity, eminence, or excellence : distinction

soon took rank as a leading attorney — J.D.Hicks

c. : high social position or standing

many of the institutions … maintained and emphasized the privileges of rank — Abram Kardiner

his distinction lay in office, not in rank — John Buchan

d. : a faculty position usually in an institution of higher learning

visiting lecturer in psychology … with rank of full professor — W.H.Hale

8. : a grade of official standing: as

a. : a grade in the armed forces

b. : a title of nobility

c. : a diplomatic or high government position

appointed with the rank of ambassador

office of cabinet rank


a. : the standing of words in their mutual relations as qualified and qualifying terms

b. : the functioning of a word, word group, or clause as substantive, adjective, or adverb

10. : the order according to some statistical characteristic

11. : one of the classes or varieties of coal arranged in a series extending from lignite through bituminous to anthracite that indicates its thermal properties

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to arrange usually in lines : draw up in a regular formation

gazed lazily out a window above the ranked heads — William Faulkner

the battalion, perfectly ranked, listened to the citation

2. : to arrange in a row or pattern : place in order

the hills ranked with apple trees — John Dos Passos

the ranch and chuck wagons were ranked out of the weather — Luke Short

carefully ranked the little figurines along the mantlepiece

3. : to determine the relative position or merit of : classify , identify , rate

seldom given to ranking the concerns of others as high as his own — M.C.Bauer

were asked to rank the instructor — W.C.Allee

a population of 205,000 ranks the city third — Howell Walker

4. : to place properly or in order of priority among the claimants upon a bankrupt estate according to Scots law

5. : to take precedence of : outrank

the chairman ranks all other officers — A.J.Liebling

did not know who ranked whom in the new … setup — Newsweek

6. Scotland : to get ready — usually used with out

intransitive verb

1. : to form or move in ranks : take a place in a rank

2. : to become ranged in order or graded especially according to rank or merit : have a place or grade in an ascending series

English ranks as the most important and essential subject in the curriculum of our public schools — Education Digest

the artisan … ranks no doubt lower than the professional man — G.L.Dickinson

the profession of religion … ranks above all the other professions — Virginia Woolf

3. : to have a place among the list of claims or claimants upon a bankrupt estate

4. : to have the highest rank : be senior : be supremely eminent

ordered by the ranking head of the provincial government — Marjory S. Douglas

V. noun

1. : the number of linearly independent rows in a matrix

2. : face cord

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.