ar·​ray | \ə-ˈrā \
arrayed; arraying; arrays

Definition of array 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to dress or decorate especially in splendid or impressive attire : adorn … he had already arrayed himself in his best clothes.— Thomas Hardy

2a : to set or place in order : draw up, marshal the forces arrayed against us

b : to set or set forth in order (something, such as a jury) for the trial of a cause

3 : to arrange or display in or as if in an array The … data are arrayed in descending order.— Ed Burnett



Definition of array (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an imposing group : large number faced a whole array of problems also : variety, assortment a broad array of styles

2a : a regular and imposing grouping or arrangement : order lined up … in soldierly array— Donald Barthelme

b law : an orderly listing of jurors impaneled

3a : clothing, attire

b : rich or beautiful apparel : finery

4 : a body of soldiers : militia the baron and his feudal array

5a(1) : a number of mathematical elements arranged in rows and columns

(2) : a data structure in which similar elements of data are arranged in a table

b : a series of statistical data arranged in classes in order of magnitude

6 : a group of elements forming a complete unit an antenna array

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Other Words from array


arrayer noun

Examples of array in a Sentence


She arrayed herself in rich velvets and satins. a door arrayed for the holidays with a beautiful evergreen wreath


an array of solar panels an array of baseball gloves in the corner of his room
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

England lines up from 35 yards in the center for a free kick; their targets are arrayed across the 18. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 Herbarium specimens – again, of varieties included in Tree of 40 Fruit and the Open Orchard – are arrayed formally against a wall. Barbara Schreiber, charlotteobserver, "This artist ‘sculpts’ in living trees and fruit. Here’s what he’s doing now in Charlotte," 11 July 2018 Their 11 flowering rooms — forests of head-high marijuana plants, arrayed in neat rows and bathed in artificial light — have space collectively for 5,800 plants. Matthew Ormseth,, "Medical Marijuana's Success In Connecticut Brings Renewed Calls For More Growers," 20 Apr. 2018 There are plenty: a mackerel crudo with slices of bracingly fresh fish arrayed in an arc around the plate, crimson edges aligned, striped with sprinkled chives, Meyer lemon rind, and smoked chile, all in balance. Devra First,, "Dinner in an almost classical mode, at Mooncusser Fish House," 9 Apr. 2018 European leaders stood arrayed on one side of a narrow conference room table, leaning in. Griff Witte And James Mcauley,, "European leaders are indignant and defiant over Trump's G-7 statement, but they're not surprised," 10 June 2018 The breakdown arrays the soybean farmer’s best options. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "This Agriculture Giant Is Bringing in the Drones to Modernize Farming From Cornfields to Vineyards," 19 June 2018 Two black males and one black female entered a store at about 3:20 p.m. and began looking at cellphones arrayed on wall displays., "Crime Report: Business burglaries and thefts fill this week’s sheriff’s log," 13 June 2018 In front of Shelton was a can of Diet Dr Pepper, and arrayed around the table were the members of his increasingly nervous senior staff. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wells has also worked with an array of A-listers and Billboard chart-toppers, including Adele, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Dua Lipa, Twenty One Pilots and many more. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Pop Shop Podcast: 'Greatest Showman' Producer Greg Wells Talks Mega-Hit Soundtrack, Plus Working With Adele, Katy Perry & More," 10 July 2018 Islamic State’s recent attacks have targeted an array of adversaries, including both U.S.-backed fighters and rival groups. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "ISIS Remnants Fight On, Despite U.S. Campaign," 9 July 2018 As for superintendent, Friedman said the school board wants a wide array of candidates, including those who are already superintendents. Rick Kambic,, "Hawthorn 73 hires two interim superintendents amid referendum push," 2 July 2018 Under legislation approved by the House and Senate, the CFIUS will be authorized to judge a broader array of deals, including the acquisition of minority stakes in American companies. Shane Harris, Washington Post, "Trump eyes executive order expanding power to block deals between U.S., foreign telecom firms," 29 June 2018 Grillin' in Grafton features a wide array of activities, including live music and entertainment, demonstrations, vendors, fireworks, a parade and both a Kids Zone and a Teen Zone. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Head north and get a jump start celebrating 4th of July and summer," 26 June 2018 Pain, and affirmation The part of the collection on display at the Gantt includes an array of works – including the difficult. Page Leggett, charlotteobserver, "This is the conversation that kicked a Charlotte couple’s 40-year journey into high gear," 21 June 2018 The trio took the role seriously, asking an array of questions, including ones focusing on domestic violence, cash bail, drug prosecutions, and immigration. Danny Mcdonald,, "Three Patriots players moderate Suffolk DA candidates forum," 20 June 2018 By contrast Mrs Merkel gives priority to an array of less-contentious subjects, including better border controls, greater co-ordination of defence and more co-operation on education and research. The Economist, "The growing strains between Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'array.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of array


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for array


Middle English, from Anglo-French arraier, from Vulgar Latin *arredare, from Latin ad- + a base of Germanic origin; akin to Goth garaiths arranged — more at ready


see array entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near array








Statistics for array

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for array

The first known use of array was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for array



English Language Learners Definition of array

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to place (a group of things) in a particular position so that they are in order or so that they look attractive

: to dress (someone, especially yourself) in fine clothing

: to put (soldiers) in a place or position so that they are ready to attack



English Language Learners Definition of array (Entry 2 of 2)

: a large group or number of things

: a group of numbers, symbols, etc., that are arranged in rows and columns

: a way of organizing pieces of information in the memory of a computer so that similar kinds of information are together


ar·​ray | \ə-ˈrā \
arrayed; arraying

Kids Definition of array

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to place in order Soldiers arrayed themselves for review. The table was arrayed with all sorts of delicacies.

2 : to dress especially in fine or beautiful clothing He was arrayed like a prince.



Kids Definition of array (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an impressive group You can choose from an array of colors.

2 : a group of persons (as soldiers) in a certain order

3 : fine or beautiful clothing They were dressed in magnificent array.

4 : regular order or arrangement

5 : a group of mathematical elements (as numbers or letters) arranged in rows and columns

ar·​ray | \ə-ˈrā \

Legal Definition of array 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: to set (a jury) for trial specifically : to set (a jury) by calling out the names of the jurors one at a time — compare impanel



Legal Definition of array (Entry 2 of 2)

: the group of people summoned to serve as jurors from which the jury will be chosen also : a list of the jurors' names — see also challenge to the array at challenge — compare venire

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Comments on array

What made you want to look up array? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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