a number of persons forming a separate class in a social hierarchy or in any graded body.
a social or official position or standing, as in the armed forces:
the rank of captain.
high position or station in the social or some similar scale:
a woman of rank.
a class in any scale of comparison.
relative position or standing:
a writer of the first rank.
a row, line, or series of things or persons:
orchestra players arranged in ranks.
Usually, ranks. the general body of any party, society, or organization apart from the officers or leaders.
orderly arrangement; array.
a line of persons, especially soldiers, standing abreast in close-order formation (distinguished from ).
British. a place or station occupied by vehicles available for hire; stand:
a taxi rank.
Chess. one of the horizontal lines of squares on a chessboard.
a set of organ pipes of the same kind and tonal color.
Also called determinant rank. Mathematics. the order of the nonzero determinant of greatest order that can be selected from a given matrix by the elimination of rows and columns.
Mining. the classification of coal according to hardness, from lignite to anthracite.
verb (used with object)
to arrange in ranks or in regular formation:
The men were ranked according to height. He ranked the chess pieces on the board.
to assign to a particular position, station, class, etc.:
She was ranked among the most admired citizens.
The colonel ranks all other officers in the squadron.
Slang. to insult; criticize.
verb (used without object)
to form a rank or ranks.
to take up or occupy a place in a particular rank, class, etc.:
to rank well ahead of the other students.
to have rank or standing.
to be the senior in rank:
The colonel ranks at this camp.
Slang. to complain.
pull rank (on), to make use of one’s superior rank to gain an advantage over (someone).
Also, pull one’s rank (on)
adjective, ranker, rankest.
growing with excessive luxuriance; vigorous and tall of growth:
tall rank weeds.
producing an excessive and coarse growth, as land.
having an offensively strong smell or taste:
a rank cigar.
offensively strong, as a smell or taste.
a rank amateur; rank treachery.
highly offensive; disgusting:
a rank sight of carnage.
grossly coarse, vulgar, or indecent:
Slang. inferior; contemptible.
[awt-oh] /ˈɔt oʊ/ (Show IPA), 1884–1939, Austrian psychoanalyst.
a position, esp an official one, within a social organization, esp the armed forces: the rank of captain
high social or other standing; status
a line or row of people or things
the position of an item in any ordering or sequence
(Brit) a place where taxis wait to be hired
a line of soldiers drawn up abreast of each other Compare file1 (sense 5)
any of the eight horizontal rows of squares on a chessboard
(in systemic grammar) one of the units of description of which a grammar is composed. Ranks of English grammar are sentence, clause, group, word, and morpheme
(music) a set of organ pipes controlled by the same stop
(maths) (of a matrix) the largest number of linearly independent rows or columns; the number of rows (or columns) of the nonzero determinant of greatest order that can be extracted from the matrix
(military) break ranks, to fall out of line, esp when under attack
close ranks, to maintain discipline or solidarity, esp in anticipation of attack
pull rank, to get one’s own way by virtue of one’s superior position or rank
(transitive) to arrange (people or things) in rows or lines; range
to accord or be accorded a specific position in an organization, society, or group
(transitive) to array (a set of objects) as a sequence, esp in terms of the natural arithmetic ordering of some measure of the elements: to rank students by their test scores
(intransitive) to be important; rate: money ranks low in her order of priorities
(mainly US) to take precedence or surpass in rank: the colonel ranks at this camp
showing vigorous and profuse growth: rank weeds
highly offensive or disagreeable, esp in smell or taste
(prenominal) complete or absolute; utter: a rank outsider
coarse or vulgar; gross: his language was rank
(ræŋk). J(oseph) Arthur, 1st Baron. 1888–1972, British industrialist and film executive, whose companies dominated the British film industry in the 1940s and 1950s
(German) (raŋk). Otto (ˈɔto). 1884–1939, Austrian psychoanalyst, noted for his theory that the trauma of birth may be reflected in certain forms of mental illness
early 14c., “row, line series;” c.1400, a row of an army, from Old French renc, ranc “row, line” (Modern French rang), from Frankish *hring or some other Germanic source (cf. Old High German hring “circle, ring”), from Proto-Germanic *khrengaz “circle, ring” (see ring (n.1)).
Meaning “a social division, class of persons” is from early 15c. Meaning “high station in society” is from early 15c. Meaning “a relative position” is from c.1600.
Old English ranc “proud, overbearing, showy,” from Proto-Germanic *rankaz (cf. Danish rank “right, upright,” German rank “slender,” Old Norse rakkr “straight, erect”), perhaps from PIE *reg- “to stretch, straighten” (see right (adj.)). In reference to plant growth, “vigorous, luxuriant, abundant, copious” it is recorded from c.1300. Related: Rankly; rankness.
Sense evolved in Middle English to “large and coarse” (c.1300), then, via notion of “excessive and unpleasant,” to “corrupt, loathsome, foul” (mid-14c.), perhaps from influence of Middle French rance “rancid.” In 17c. also “lewd, lustful.”
Much used 16c. as a pejorative intensive (cf. rank folly). This is possibly the source of the verb meaning “to reveal another’s guilt” (1929, underworld slang), and that of “to harass, abuse,” 1934, U.S. black dialect, though this also may be from the role of the activity in establishing social hierarchy (from rank (n.)).
1570s, “arrange in lines;” 1590s, “put in order, classify; assign a rank to,” from rank (n.). Related: Ranked; ranking.
[second sense used by 1960s teenagers in the preferred variant rank out, both as a verb phrase and a noun phrase]
In addition to the idiom beginning with
- Rank amateur
noun a person with no experience whatsoever in an activity or situation Examples Don’t include rank amateurs when you play poker. Word Origin 1884
noun 1. the members of a group or organization apart from its leaders or officers. 2. 1 (def 7a). noun 1. the ordinary soldiers of an army, excluding the officers 2. the great mass or majority of any group or organization, as opposed to the leadership 3. (modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of the […]
[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.