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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.

the members of an armed service apart from its officers; enlisted personnel.
military enlisted personnel as a group.

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 file).
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.
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.
to outrank:
The colonel ranks all other officers in the squadron.
Slang. to insult; criticize.
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.
break ranks,

to leave an assigned position in a military formation.
to disagree with, defect from, or refuse to support one’s colleagues, party, or the like.

pull rank (on), to make use of one’s superior rank to gain an advantage over (someone).
Also, pull one’s rank (on)
Contemporary Examples

The U.S. Will Torture Again—and We’re All to Blame Michael Tomasky December 11, 2014
Falling Out! Why Soldiers Faint On Parade Tom Sykes March 21, 2012
Red America’s Anti-Gay Backlash Jonathan Rauch June 14, 2014
Jason Stanford Reviews “Patriots” David Frum May 7, 2012
Gays Turn on Lady Gaga Jacob Bernstein February 13, 2011

Historical Examples

Diary of an Enlisted Man Lawrence Van Alstyne
Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
Eleven days in the militia during the war of the rebellion A Militiaman
Nana, The Miller’s Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille Emile Zola
Within Prison Walls Thomas Mott Osborne

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

To say or do something that reveals another’s guilt: She ranked him by busting out with that new fur so soon after the robbery (1920s+ Underworld)
To harass; annoy; kid, needle: the fine, foul art of ”ranking.” Light insults were his way of making friends (1934+)

Fall out of line or into disorder; also, fail to conform, deviate. For example, The recruits were warned that they must not break ranks, or Harry was told to adhere to the party platform and not break ranks. This idiom uses rank in the sense of “soldiers drawn up in line,” and the term originally referred to their falling into disarray. The figurative usage dates from the mid-1800s.
In addition to the idiom beginning with


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