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

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 Cheek, who works in the computer field, became the face of the opposition, coming to meetings arrayed with facts, figures and criticisms. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: When gadflies try to enter the Belly of the Beast," 24 May 2018 On Wednesday, more than 50 family members gathered at the respite center to eat hot soup, change into clean clothes and let their children play with toys arrayed in a corner. Molly Hennessy-fiske,, "Trump ended separating families. But what's next?," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The operator relies partly on direct visuals, with help from an array of cameras on the arm and detailed live telemetry on screens. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "How to Watch SpaceX’s Dragon Ship Deliver Coffee, Experiments, and a Smiling Robot to the International Space Station," 2 July 2018 Choose from an array of herbal massages and rejuvenating facials, or simply post up in a lounge chair with a summer read and cocktail. Lauren Sheffield, Harper's BAZAAR, "This East Coast Getaway Is the Perfect Alternative to The Hamptons," 26 June 2018 France can call on an array of talent unheard of since the days of Zidane, Henry and Vieira., "2018 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Analysing France's Chances at the Tournament," 1 June 2018 During the 2018 legislative session, House Bill 7087 passed and now allows for TDT to be spent on a broader array of local needs. Scott Maxwell,, "15 questions for the candidates for Orange County mayor. Where do they stand?," 24 May 2018 My philosophy is to draw on the vast array of resources that are in a community. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Sean Bulson, Harford superintendent finalist, meets with community," 18 May 2018 The pre-apprenticeship programs are a boon to local manufacturers, which rely on an array of workforce pipeline programs to fill open positions. Rebecca Lurye,, "Student Apprenticeship Programs Open Doors To Manufacturing Jobs," 4 May 2018 Biggest in Wisconsin Huebner said the solar project at Ikea surpassed in size a rooftop solar array at American Family Insurance in Madison, but may be outdone yet this year by a project at Madison College in Madison. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Solar panels help power new Ikea store in Oak Creek," 13 July 2018 Instead of relying on natural gas to make H2, the new add-on will feed power from a 2.5-megawatt solar array into a bank of electrolyzers, which split water into H2 and O2. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon," 12 July 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

12 Sep 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).


the setting in which something occurs

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