See under reach (def 27).
to get to or get as far as in moving, going, traveling, etc.:
The boat reached the shore.
to come to or arrive at in some course of progress, action, etc.:
Your letter never reached me.
to succeed in touching or seizing with an outstretched hand, a pole, etc.:
to reach a book on a high shelf.
to stretch or hold out; extend:
reaching out a hand in greeting.
to stretch or extend so as to touch or meet:
The bookcase reaches the ceiling.
to establish communication with:
I called but couldn’t reach you.
to amount to, as in the sum or total:
The cost will reach millions.
to penetrate to:
distant stars the eye cannot reach.
to succeed in striking or hitting, as with a weapon or missile:
The artillery fire reached the shore.
to succeed in making contact with, influencing, impressing, interesting, convincing, etc.:
a program that reached a large teenage audience.
to make a stretch, as with the hand or arm.
to become outstretched, as the hand or arm.
to make a movement or effort as if to touch or seize something:
to reach for a weapon.
to extend in operation or effect:
power that reaches throughout the land.
to stretch in space; extend in direction, length, distance, etc.:
a coat reaching to the knee; a tower reaching to the skies.
to extend or continue in time.
to get or come to a specified place, person, condition, etc. (often followed by to).
to amount (often followed by to):
sums reaching to a considerable total.
Fields of flowers extended as far as the eye could reach.
to assert or agree without certainty or sufficient evidence; infer hastily:
I’d be reaching if I said I had the answer to your question.
to sail on a reach.
to sail with the wind forward of the beam but so as not to require sailing close-hauled.
an act or instance of reaching:
to make a reach for a gun.
the extent or distance of reaching:
within reach of his voice.
range of effective action, power, or capacity.
a continuous stretch or extent of something:
a reach of woodland.
Also called pound. a level portion of a canal, between locks.
Nautical. a point of sailing in which the wind is within a few points of the beam, either forward of the beam (close reach) directly abeam (beam reach) or abaft the beam (broad reach)
the pole connecting the rear axle of a wagon to the transverse bar or bolster over the front axle supporting the wagon bed.
a straight portion of a river between two bends.
(transitive) to arrive at or get to (a place, person, etc) in the course of movement or action: to reach the office
to extend as far as (a point or place): to reach the ceiling, can you reach?
(transitive) to come to (a certain condition, stage, or situation): to reach the point of starvation
(intransitive) to extend in influence or operation: the Roman conquest reached throughout England
(transitive) (informal) to pass or give (something to a person) with the outstretched hand: to reach someone a book
(intransitive; foll by out, for, or after) to make a movement (towards), as if to grasp or touch: to reach for something on a shelf
(intransitive; foll by for or after) to strive or yearn: to reach for the impossible
(transitive) to make contact or communication with (someone): we tried to reach him all day
(transitive) to strike, esp in fencing or boxing
(transitive) to amount to (a certain sum): to reach the five million mark
(intransitive) (nautical) to sail on a tack with the wind on or near abeam
the act of reaching
the extent or distance of reaching: within reach of safety, beyond her reach
the range of influence, power, jurisdiction, etc
an open stretch of water, esp on a river
(nautical) the direction or distance sailed by a vessel on one tack
a bar on the rear axle of a vehicle connecting it with some part at the front end
(television, radio) the percentage of the population selecting a broadcast programme or channel for more than a specified time during a day or week
(marketing) the proportion of a market that an advertiser hopes to reach at least once in a campaign
Old English ræcan, reccan “reach out, stretch out, extend, hold forth,” also “succeed in touching, succeed in striking; address, speak to,” also “offer, present, give, grant,” from West Germanic *raikjan “stretch out the hand” (cf. Old Frisian reka, Middle Dutch reiken, Dutch reiken, Old High German and German reichen), from Proto-Germanic *raikijanau, perhaps from PIE root *reig- “to stretch out” (cf. Sanskrit rjyati “he stretches himself,” riag “torture” (by racking); Greek oregein “to reach, extend;” Lithuanian raižius “to stretch oneself;” Old Irish rigim “I stretch”).
Shakespeare uses the now-obsolete past tense form raught (Old English ræhte). Meaning “arrive at” is early 14c.; that of “succeed in influencing” is from 1660s. Related: Reached; reaching. Reach-me-down “ready-made” (of clothes) is recorded from 1862, from notion of being on the rack in a finished state.
1520s, from reach (v.); earliest use is of stretches of water. Meaning “extent of reaching” is from 1540s; that of “act of reaching” is from 1560s.
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?
[Browning, “Andrea del Sarto”]
In addition to the idiom beginning with
- Beam riding
noun a method of missile guidance in which the missile steers itself along the axis of a conically scanned microwave beam
- Beam sea
a sea striking the vessel at right angles to its keel. Historical Examples For the storm is rising, and a beam sea sends wave after wave against my ports. An Ocean Tramp William McFee From time to time it careened like a blunt-nosed barge in a beam sea. The Million Dollar Mystery Harold MacGrath Behind […]
- Beam search
beam search algorithm An optimisation of the best first search graph search algorithm where only a predetermined number of paths are kept as candidates. The number of paths is the “width of the beam”. If more paths than this are generated, the worst paths are discarded. This reduces the space requirements of best first search. […]
- Beam splitter
a mirror or prism that divides a beam of light into two parts by reflecting a part of the beam, used in camera range finders. noun a system that divides a beam of light, electrons, etc, into two or more paths
- Beam trawl
a trawl net whose lateral spread during trawling is maintained by a beam across its mouth.