ar·​ray | \ ə-ˈrā How to pronounce array (audio) \
arrayed; arraying; arrays

Essential Meaning of array

1 : to place (a group of things) in a particular position so that they are in order or so that they look attractive
2 literary : to dress (someone, especially yourself) in fine clothing She arrayed herself in rich velvets and satins.
3 : to put (soldiers) in a place or position so that they are ready to attack They arrayed [=deployed] the troops along the hilltop.

Full 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
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

Other Words from array


arrayer noun

Examples of array in a Sentence

Verb She arrayed herself in rich velvets and satins. a door arrayed for the holidays with a beautiful evergreen wreath Noun 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 My first task was to unpack the boxes and array the pages contained within across a long mahogany conference table, preparing them for Callahan’s inspection. New York Times, 3 June 2021 During President Barack Obama's troop surge, about 100,000 military personnel were arrayed across the country, fighting to win remote areas from Taliban control. Missy Ryan, Anchorage Daily News, 19 May 2020 These fears stem from China’s military capabilities arrayed along much of India’s Himalayan border and the failure to resolve a border dispute. Sumit Ganguly, Quartz India, 25 Feb. 2020 With his administration engulfed by crisis, Trump can no longer control the forces once solidly arrayed behind him. Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Oct. 2019 The 6,000-square-foot home is in a neighborhood overlooking Lake Zurich that was once a vineyard but is now arrayed with golf courses and polite villa-style mansions. Christopher Bollen, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2020 The cabinet displayed forty dials arrayed in four rows and ten columns. Andrew Whitby, Wired, 1 Apr. 2020 Go Family-Style, but on the Side The table was arrayed, simply, with Calvin Klein glassware and plates and flatware from the Italian company Match. Kurt Soller, New York Times, 14 Feb. 2020 Jewelry, watches and other accessories were arrayed on a long table; cowboy boots, high-heeled pumps and clogs sat neatly along a windowsill. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With Patrick Ricard back from a knee injury and Nick Boyle in the mix, the Ravens finally had their full array of lead blockers in Week 17. Childs Walker,, 6 Jan. 2022 After your massage, linger around the spa and enjoy its diverse array of facilities, especially its extensive hydrotherapy circuit. Joni Sweet, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 The flight operations team in another part of the institute then watched as Webb deployed its solar array, then its communications antenna minutes later. New York Times, 25 Dec. 2021 Roughly 33 minutes after liftoff, Webb must deploy its solar array to begin generating power. Justin Bachman, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Dec. 2021 The arrival of Janis’ daughter, Cecilia, sets its own dizzying array of possibilities in motion. Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2021 Seton Hall pummeled Texas inside with its array of bigs. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Dec. 2021 Ertz has only been around Murray for a couple months now, but watching the speedy quarterback take off and show his array of moves leaves the tight end shaking his head. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 19 Dec. 2021 Serving its full menu, which includes dishes such as Mongolian beef and pad Thai along with its array of sushi and bao buns. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 19 Dec. 2021

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 arayen, arrayen "to put in order, prepare, marshal (troops), equip, adorn," borrowed from Anglo-French arraier, arreyer, aroier "to arrange, order, marshal, set in order (a jury, assize), equip, attire, adorn" (continental Old French areer), going back to Vulgar Latin *arrēdāre, from Latin ad- ad- + Vulgar Latin *-rēdāre, in *conrēdāre, presumed adaptation of Gothic garedan "to make provisions" — more at curry entry 1

Note: The forms arrai-, aroi- presumably represent generalizations of the tonic stem of areer. The verb *arrēdāre is common to most Romance languages: Old Occitan arezar "to put in order," Catalan arrear "to provide," Spanish, "to adorn, decorate," Italian arredare "to furnish, equip."


Middle English aray, array, arraye "preparation, arrangement, condition, line of soldiers, equipment, adornment," borrowed from Anglo-French arrai, arraie "order, arrangement, condition, ordered list of jurors, body of men, entourage, equipment," noun derivative of arraier "to order, array entry 1"

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

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Cite this Entry

“Array.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for array


ar·​ray | \ ə-ˈrā How to pronounce array (audio) \
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


transitive verb
ar·​ray | \ ə-ˈrā How to pronounce array (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on array

Nglish: Translation of array for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of array for Arabic Speakers


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