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

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 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, "For most of Afghanistan war, America ‘never really fought to win,’ Trump declares," 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, "All trade and no democracy is the new hallmark of India-US ties," 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, "Trump’s season of weakness: President who prizes strength enters key stretch in a fragile state," 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, "Who Was Carlo Scarpa?," 18 Feb. 2020 The cabinet displayed forty dials arrayed in four rows and ten columns. Andrew Whitby, Wired, "A Brief History of the Census—and How Covid-19 Could Change It," 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, "How an Author and His Husband Host Casual Dinners in Their New York Apartment," 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, "‘The differences get overlooked’: How people in their 20s swap clothes with people in their 70s," 9 Dec. 2019 Meticulously arrayed, the echoing curves suggest fingerprint whorls or ripples on lakes and ponds. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Disrupting and denaturing the concept of comfortable at home," 13 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While the market is suddenly short on transformative superstars, there's still an array of established veteran talent and young, high-upside players to pursue. Bryan Toporek, Forbes, "Jrue Holiday’s Extension Further Depletes Heralded 2021 NBA Free-Agent Class," 6 Apr. 2021 The result is an array of photos that get cycled on the display. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The new $99 Nest Hub is a great smart display that can track your sleep," 30 Mar. 2021 Peter Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, completed in 2005, is an array of concrete -steles in an undulating piazza, a field of unmarked graves or an army of nameless ghosts. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "How Will We Remember This?," 15 Mar. 2021 What made a big difference, especially to those who lost jobs, was an array of federal relief efforts. Dallas News, "One year after pandemic, Dallas’ job market heats up again, even while some sectors are still hurting," 12 Mar. 2021 The shop is an eclectic array of merchandise, from such edibles as jerky, pasta and honey to jewelry, leather goods, dog wear, glassware, pottery, magnets and the list goes on. cleveland, "The Rift Shop offers an eggcellent way to hop into Spring: Olmsted Dates and Data," 11 Mar. 2021 The thing that makes Yu Darvish so difficult to face is not the array of 11 options packed into his pitching holster. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Unpredictable Yu Darvish ties up Royals in Padres debut," 7 Mar. 2021 In what parents complain is a dizzying array, a sixth-grader now receives 37 assessments divided among six subjects in a quarter. Globe Staff,, "Five years in, it’s terrible," 4 Mar. 2021 In addition, there's an array of licensed content available to stream such as Studio Ghibli films, the Adult Swim Collection, Cartoon Network’s catalogue, as well as popular series such as South Park and The Big Bang Theory. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "The 'Friends' reunion is officially underway—here's how to watch it when it airs," 3 Mar. 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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Time Traveler for array

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for array

Cite this Entry

“Array.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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
literary : 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 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
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on array

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for array

Nglish: Translation of array for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of array for Arabic Speakers

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