noun, often attributive
\ ˈrānj How to pronounce range (audio) \

Definition of range

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a series of things in a line : row
(2) : a series of mountains
(3) : one of the north-south rows of townships in a U.S. public-land survey that are numbered east and west from the principal meridian of the survey
b : an aggregate of individuals in one order
c : a direction line
2 : a cooking stove that has an oven and a flat top with burners or heating elements
3a : a place that may be ranged over
b : an open region over which animals (such as livestock) may roam and feed
c : the region throughout which a kind of organism or ecological community naturally lives or occurs
4 : the act of ranging about
5a(1) : the horizontal distance to which a projectile can be propelled
(2) : the horizontal distance between a weapon and target
b : the maximum distance a vehicle or craft can travel without refueling
c(1) : a place where shooting is practiced
6a : the space or extent included, covered, or used : scope
b : the extent of pitch covered by a melody or lying within the capacity of a voice or instrument
7a : a sequence, series, or scale between limits a wide range of patterns
b : the limits of a series : the distance or extent between possible extremes
c : the difference between the least and greatest values of an attribute or of the variable of a frequency distribution
8a : the set of values a function may take on
b : the class of admissible values of a variable


ranged; ranging

Definition of range (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to set in a row or in the proper order
b : to place among others in a position or situation
c : to assign to a category : classify
2a : to rove over or through
b : to sail or pass along
3 : to arrange (an anchor cable) on deck
4 : to graze (livestock) on a range

intransitive verb

1a : to roam at large or freely
b : to move over an area so as to explore it
2 : to take a position
3a : to correspond in direction or line : align
b : to extend in a particular direction
4 : to have range
5 : to change or differ within limits
6 of an organism : to live or occur in or be native to a region

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Choose the Right Synonym for range


range, gamut, compass, sweep, scope, orbit mean the extent that lies within the powers of something (as to cover or control). range is a general term indicating the extent of one's perception or the extent of powers, capacities, or possibilities. the entire range of human experience gamut suggests a graduated series running from one possible extreme to another. a performance that ran the gamut of emotions compass implies a sometimes limited extent of perception, knowledge, or activity. your concerns lie beyond the narrow compass of this study sweep suggests extent, often circular or arc-shaped, of motion or activity. the book covers the entire sweep of criminal activity scope is applicable to an area of activity, predetermined and limited, but somewhat flexible. as time went on, the scope of the investigation widened orbit suggests an often circumscribed range of activity or influence within which forces work toward accommodation. within that restricted orbit they tried to effect social change

Examples of range in a Sentence

Noun knew exactly how many head of cattle were turned out on the range that morning to graze didn't know she had such a wide range of knowledge until I talked to her Verb The selection of food ranged from mild to very spicy. Items on the menu range from American fare like hamburgers and hot dogs to Italian pasta dishes. Grizzly bears range over a much smaller area than they once did. The plant once ranged across the island.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Geely states that its platform will have single, double, and triple motor availability, have a maximum range of over 435 miles, and go from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Geely to Partner with Chinese Tech Company Baidu to Build Smart Electric Vehicles," 11 Jan. 2021 Amazon has a range of head warmers to keep runners and hikers happy. oregonlive, "Best January sales: Curl up in comfort with these deals on cozy furnishings, bedding, clothes and boots," 5 Jan. 2021 Enthusiasts say the tree needles, and even some other tree parts, have a range of flavors, from lemony to slightly bitter, that put them on par with the best of spices. Charles Passy, WSJ, "New Christmas Tree Disposal Method? Eat It," 27 Dec. 2020 According to the Arizona Republic, the trucks were slated to have a range of 150 miles and capacity for 1,200 cans of garbage. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Nikola stock craters after cancellation of major garbage truck order," 24 Dec. 2020 Long has a longer range, travels at a higher velocity, and is much more lethal because of the shape of the bullet and the use of more gunpowder. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Guide to Every Type of Gun," 24 Dec. 2020 Any thermometer advertised for deep-frying should have a range of at least 100°F to 400°F. Jennifer Blair, chicagotribune.com, "The best deep-fry thermometer," 22 Dec. 2020 No team in the conference might have a wider range of outcomes. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "The Rockets and Warriors are in new territory, and it’s not good," 21 Dec. 2020 Lohman, in his 14th season with the Lions, has a wide range of experience as both a pro and college scout. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Meet the Detroit Lions general manager candidates: Rob Lohman," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The three-story townhomes range from 1,600 to 2,200 square feet and are estimated to cost $230,000 to $250,000. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Developer proposes new Middleburg Heights townhomes project," 12 Jan. 2021 Ideal for those even with a busy schedule, the classes range from five minutes to over an hour and demos gentle to vigorous, easy to advanced routines to accommodate your fitness level. Popular Science, "Enjoy an extra 20 percent off on bestselling fitness apps and online courses," 31 Dec. 2020 Their ages range from 16 to 33 and include 11 men and one woman. Time, "Hong Kong Activists Caught Fleeing Sentenced to Up to 3 Years in Prison by Mainland Court," 30 Dec. 2020 Highs range from 50 to 55 on Saturday and ease back to 45 to 50 on Sunday. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Mild today, cold midweek, and then a big warm-up to ring in 2021," 28 Dec. 2020 Forecasters say Tuesday’s highs will range from 67 in San Diego to 70 in Escondido and 71 in El Cajon. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Weak Santa Ana winds expected Tuesday, elevating San Diego’s wildfire risk," 14 Dec. 2020 The women range in age from 21 to 31, and live everywhere from New Mexico to Ethiopia. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Meet Matt James’ Angels, AKA The Cast Of The Bachelor Season 25," 11 Dec. 2020 For the state, options range from not providing any financial compensation or assistance to property owners, and just letting nature take its course, to buying out the properties — a cost that could prove exorbitant for the public. Sophie Cocke, ProPublica, "How Famous Surfers and Wealthy Homeowners Are Endangering Hawaii’s Beaches," 5 Dec. 2020 Tickets range from $18 to $27 per vehicle during the month of December and parking is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Sonia Ramirez, Chron, "Rooftop Cinema leaving Sawyer Yards for new EaDo location," 3 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'range.' 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 range


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for range


Middle English, row of persons, from Anglo-French range, renge, from renger to range


Middle English, from Anglo-French renger, from renc, reng line, place, row — more at rank entry 1

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Learn More about range

Time Traveler for range

Time Traveler

The first known use of range was in the 14th century

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Statistics for range

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Range.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/range. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for range


How to pronounce range (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of range

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group or collection of different things or people that are usually similar in some way
: a series of numbers that includes the highest and lowest possible amounts
: the total amount of ability, knowledge, experience, etc., that a person has



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

: to include everything between specified limits
: to live or grow in a particular area
: to move around an area


\ ˈrānj How to pronounce range (audio) \

Kids Definition of range

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of things in a line a range of mountains
2 : the distance over which someone or something can be seen, heard, or reached
3 : a cooking stove
4 : open land over which livestock may roam and feed
5 : a variety of choices within a scale a range of colors
6 : the difference between the least and greatest of a set of values
7 : the distance a gun will shoot
8 : a place where shooting is practiced


ranged; ranging

Kids Definition of range (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to arrange in a particular place or order There were at least a thousand musicians ranged in a great arc …— Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
2 : to roam over or through The horses range freely.
3 : to come within specified limits We range in age from 7 to 13.


noun, often attributive
\ ˈrānj How to pronounce range (audio) \

Medical Definition of range

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the region throughout which a kind of organism or ecological community naturally lives or occurs
2 : the difference between the least and greatest values of an attribute or of the variable of a frequency distribution
ranged; ranging

Medical Definition of range (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to change or differ within limits symptoms range in severity from mild to severe
2 of an organism : to live or occur in or be native to a region

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Comments on range

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