\ ˈranch How to pronounce ranch (audio) \

Definition of ranch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large farm for raising horses, beef cattle, or sheep
2 : a farm or area devoted to a particular specialty


ranched; ranching; ranches

Definition of ranch (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to live or work on a ranch

transitive verb

1 : to work as a rancher on
2 : to raise on a ranch

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for ranch

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ranch in a Sentence

Noun lives on a cattle ranch in Texas that's as big as the whole state of Rhode Island Verb My grandfather started ranching here 150 years ago. The family has ranched 10,000 acres here for the past 150 years. The family has been ranching cattle here for 150 years.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The 20 or so members of the Sanchez family who captured alcalde Washington Bartlett and the others escorted their prisoners to ranches across the Bay Area. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "The day the Mexican-American War came to Santa Clara," 7 Feb. 2020 Greg Latimer’s ranch near Sounding Lake, Alberta, has 4,000 acres, 350 cattle — and more than a dozen deserted oil and gas wells. Washington Post, "Canada’s struggling oil industry leaves thousands of wells abandoned, without enough money for cleanup," 6 Feb. 2020 Go Horseback Riding Look up a local ranch or equestrian center to see if there are any riding opportunities. Julie Pennell, Teen Vogue, "19 Fun Things to Do Outside, Wherever You Live," 6 Feb. 2020 And then there were the ranch sets and everything else. The Hollywood Reporter, "Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot: 'Irishman' "Was Boring," Tarantino "Amazing," "I Want an American Director to Win"," 4 Feb. 2020 The commercial highlights Doritos’ cool ranch flavor, which will now include more seasoning. Connor Pittman, Dallas News, "Super Bowl spots for Cheetos, Doritos and Avocados From Mexico mix nostalgia with pop culture," 1 Feb. 2020 Blanton is a rural community filled with vast ranches crisscrossed by narrow two-lane roads. al, "Florida triple murder suspect found dead; baby still missing," 29 Jan. 2020 This stylish ranch on a golf course enjoys amenities such as a billiards room, sauna and indoor swimming pool and spa. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "What $500,000 buys right now in three San Diego County communities," 23 Jan. 2020 Set on 3,500 secluded acres, this ranch-resort hybrid has panoramic mountain views, a hot tub and heated infinity pool, and complimentary daily yoga classes for those who want to keep it moving. Sara Holzman, Marie Claire, "The Agenda: What to Do and How to Pack for a Ski Vacation in Park City," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The average age of the principal operator of a farm or ranch these days is 58. National Geographic, "Two visions collide amid push to restore Montana plains," 16 Jan. 2020 The one preserved at the Redbird Ranch subdivision belonged to the Padilla-Zimmerle-Martinez ranching families, pioneer settlers of this area near the Bexar-Medina county line. Paula Allen, ExpressNews.com, "Cemetery preserves history of San Antonio area ranching families," 21 Dec. 2019 The road connects State Road 188, which runs north to south along the west side of the Tonto River to about 1,500 people on the east side, including some deeply rooted ranching families in the Tonto Basin. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "After deadly flood, Arizona lawmaker proposes $20M to build bridge over Tonto Creek," 17 Dec. 2019 In any case, the Sussexes might benefit from some time ranching out in the fresh air and big skies of Montana. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, "Fit for a Prince: Where in the West Should Meghan and Harry Move?," 16 Jan. 2020 The discovery of two fossilized dinosaur skeletons intertwined in what looks like a final death match could make a Montana ranching couple rich beyond their dreams. Amy Beth Hanson, chicagotribune.com, "Millions of dollars are at stake for a Montana ranching couple after the discovery of two fossilized ‘dueling dinosaur’ skeletons," 7 Nov. 2019 Fields that were once green with alfalfa have been converted to cattle-ranching lands. AZCentral.com, "It's one of Arizona's most precious rivers. Hundreds of new wells may leave it running dry," 5 Dec. 2019 Some families living there have ranched the area since the 1800s. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Prior to fatal Arizona flood, residents near Tonto Creek begged for a bridge," 2 Dec. 2019 With the horse, another animal introduced by the Spanish, the Navajo developed a ranching ethos long before Anglo cowboys arrived on the scene. Simon Romero, New York Times, "Navajo Country Music Pays Tribute to ‘Indian Cowboys’ and Outlaw Legends," 30 Nov. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of ranch


1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1851, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for ranch


Mexican Spanish rancho small ranch, from Spanish, camp, hut & Spanish dialect, small farm, from Old Spanish ranchearse to take up quarters, from Middle French se ranger to take up a position, from ranger to set in a row — more at range

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ranch

Time Traveler for ranch

Time Traveler

The first known use of ranch was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ranch

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ranch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ranch. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ranch


How to pronounce ranch (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ranch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large farm especially in the U.S. where animals (such as cattle, horses, and sheep) are raised
chiefly US : a farm for a special crop or kind of animal



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

: to live or work on a ranch
chiefly US : to raise (an animal) on a ranch


\ ˈranch How to pronounce ranch (audio) \

Kids Definition of ranch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large farm for the raising of livestock (as cattle)
2 : a farm devoted to a special crop


ranched; ranching

Kids Definition of ranch (Entry 2 of 2)

: to live or work on a large farm where livestock are raised

Other Words from ranch

rancher noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ranch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ranch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ranch

Spanish Central: Translation of ranch

Nglish: Translation of ranch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ranch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ranch

Comments on ranch

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!