\ 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

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Synonyms for ranch

Synonyms: Noun

estate, farm, farmstead, grange

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Examples of ranch in a Sentence


lives on a cattle ranch in Texas that's as big as the whole state of Rhode Island


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The entire plant is built for it, from the thick bedrock below that makes vibration measurements extremely sensitive to the building's location in the middle of undeveloped ranches, which preserves a mostly pristine electromagnetic environment. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Locked Rooms Where They Protect GPS," 22 Mar. 2019 After a night of heavy, heavy drinking during Jax’s birthday getaway to Mexico, Stassi was fast asleep with pizza and ranch dressing, Tom Schwartz was blacked out at another resort, and Peter was… being Peter somewhere. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "9 Dramatic 'Vanderpump Rules' Moments Nobody Can Ever Forget," 3 Dec. 2018 Remains of Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex and Pachycephalosaurus have been found on Bliss Dinosaur Ranch in Weston, and guests are invited on two- or three-day digs on the 3,500-acre ranch. Susan B. Barnes, USA TODAY, "Dinosaurs in real-life: Where to find them around the US," 26 June 2018 Kathryn walked to the window at the front of her small, ranch-style house that afternoon, and felt hot tears run down her cheeks. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 2018 Image Click on the slide show to see this week’s featured properties: In Sea Cliff, N.Y., a three-bedroom, one-bath, 1955 ranch-style house on about 0.25 acres by Scudders Pond with a den, an unfinished basement and a wood deck. New York Times, "Homes for Sale in New York and Connecticut," 5 July 2018 Since opening Fremont Diner in a former Highway 21 burger shack in 2009, Chad Harris has earned a loyal following of both Wine Country locals and tourists alike with the restaurant’s folksy decor and high-quality ranch-style grub. Sarah Fritsche, SFChronicle.com, "Sonoma's beloved Fremont Diner closes suddenly," 28 June 2018 But residents who live near the development site, many of whom are ex-military and have lived there for decades, worry that the project will create too much density among the area’s humble ranch-style houses and its homegrown retail businesses. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Veterans community planned on Southeast Side raises concerns," 15 June 2018 There is always something to do around our old, ranch-style house in Fallbrook. Lisa Deaderick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Finding her voice with other veterans," 3 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By and large, it’s women and men from ranching, people who live that life, who live in open spaces, and who have daily encounters with animals and work. Constance Grady, Vox, "Victorian literature was full of lady detectives," 15 Dec. 2018 In an Associated Press interview in August, McLeod-Skinner noted that her wife, Cassandra Skinner’s family has been ranching in eastern Oregon for over 100 years. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "GOP congressman attacks foe’s family ties in Oregon district," 25 Sep. 2018 On the flip side, Eatons' Ranch in northeastern Wyoming is the genuine article, run by the oldest dude-ranching family in America. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018 Deseret’s been ranching for more than 60 years and offers free tours to the public. A.d. Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "St. Cloud Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018 Protect the Harvest, like other ranching advocacy groups, pressedpublic officials for the Hammonds’ release. Matt Pearce, latimes.com, "Pardoned by Trump, Oregon ranchers ride home in style on Pence ally's private jet," 12 July 2018 Kevin Costner plays the patriarch of a fourth generation Montana ranching family trying to hold together the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. National Geographic, "Yellowstone: A Place, A Drama," 18 June 2018 Opponents worry about pollution in the 30,000-acre (12,000-hectare) park named for the former U.S. president who ranched in the region in the 1880s and is revered for his advocacy of land and wildlife conservation. Washington Post, "North Dakota OKs refinery construction near national park," 13 June 2018 The owner of Big Fish Farms has spent the past decade building a reservoir ranching system across southern Ohio and northern Kentucky, where she's grown thousands of young paddlefish that can be harvested by her alone. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky is swimming with potential to take over the US caviar market," 28 June 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near ranch





ranch dressing



Statistics for ranch

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ranch

The first known use of ranch was in 1831

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More Definitions for ranch



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ranch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ranch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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