the members of a group or organization apart from its leaders or officers.
1 (def 7a).
the ordinary soldiers of an army, excluding the officers
the great mass or majority of any group or organization, as opposed to the leadership
(modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of the rank and file: rank-and-file opinion, rank-and-file support
1590s, in reference to the horizontal and vertical lines of soldiers marching in formation; thence generalized to “common soldiers” (1796) and “common people” (1860).
The people who form the major portion of any group or organization, excluding the leaders: “The rumors of corruption at the top disturbed the party’s rank and file.” This phrase comes from military usage, where enlisted men march in ranks (close abreast) and files (one behind another), whereas officers march outside these formations.
Followers, the general membership, as in This new senator really appeals to the rank and file in the labor unions. This expression comes from the military, where a rank denotes soldiers standing side by side in a row, and file refers to soldiers standing behind one another. The first recorded figurative use of this term was in 1860.
[rangk-uh n-fahy-ler] /ˈræŋk ənˈfaɪ lər/ noun 1. a member of the rank and file.
[rahng-kuh] /ˈrɑŋ kə/ noun 1. Leopold von [ley-aw-pawlt fuh n] /ˈleɪ ɔˌpɔlt fən/ (Show IPA), 1795–1886, German historian.
[rang-ker] /ˈræŋ kər/ noun 1. a person who . 2. British. a soldier in the or a commissioned officer promoted from the . [rangk] /ræŋk/ adjective, ranker, rankest. 1. growing with excessive luxuriance; vigorous and tall of growth: tall rank weeds. 2. producing an excessive and coarse growth, as land. 3. having an offensively strong […]
[rangk] /ræŋk/ adjective, ranker, rankest. 1. growing with excessive luxuriance; vigorous and tall of growth: tall rank weeds. 2. producing an excessive and coarse growth, as land. 3. having an offensively strong smell or taste: a rank cigar. 4. offensively strong, as a smell or taste. 5. utter; absolute: a rank amateur; rank treachery. 6. […]