noun, often attributive
\ˈrānj \

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

(2) : driving range

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


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


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

Outdoor Voices has announced the upcoming launch of its own line of stylish fleeces for men and women that come in a range of the label’s signature bold colors, like lavender, red, and green. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Outdoor Voices Is Launching Fleeces That Are the Anti-Version of the #MidtownUniform," 24 Oct. 2018 Since Apple keeps a relatively slim amount of data compared to its counterparts, your file will likely fall in the range of a few megabytes. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "What Data Does Apple Have on You? Here's How to Download It and Find Out," 18 Oct. 2018 In a range of Insta-friendly hues, Harriet Caslin alters porcelain into unique tableware designs and two-toned lighting, casting a beautiful glow on your next dinner party. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "Go Inside The London Design Festival, AKA Fashion Week For Decor Addicts," 2 Oct. 2018 The short-sleeve wrap jumpsuit was originally priced at $168, but is currently marked down to $84 and still available in a range of sizes. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Wore the Cutest J.Crew Jumpsuit for a Very Special Meeting," 25 Sep. 2018 But with the Bucks nearing the luxury tax threshold, the Bulls are expected to make an offer in the range of two years and $40 million that could prove painful to match. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls working to sign restricted free agent Jabari Parker to offer sheet," 14 July 2018 The repair estimate for her smashed bumper and lights was nearly $1,000, a cost in the range of what many drivers have had to bear. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "I-4 construction nightmares: Drivers seeking payment for car damage face daunting odds," 13 July 2018 The origami-reminiscent leather Tabouret camp stool by Atelier Oï, available in a range of bright colors, folds flat. Candice Baker Yacono, latimes.com, "Louis Vuitton South Coast Plaza reopens with store-exclusive merchandise," 12 July 2018 Since Trump took office the rate has fluctuated in a narrow range from 63.0 percent to 62.7 percent. Brooks Jackson, Philly.com, "Trump's Numbers (Second Quarterly Update) | FactCheck," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But there are different sects and ways to practice which can range from casual to more disciplined ways to live your life. Emily Shippee, Teen Vogue, ""A Very Large Expanse Of Sea" Author Tahereh Mafi on Representation for Muslim-American Teens and the Need for More Diverse Love Stories," 2 Nov. 2018 The first of the series is 650 square feet, but the homes can range from an ultra-tiny 250 square feet to a more spacious 1,200 square feet. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Yves Béhar debuts a line of prefab homes," 2 Nov. 2018 The cost can range from $20,000 for a photo album to $150,000 or more for a complete biographical study. William Middleton, Town & Country, "From Gates to Rockefeller, Wealthy Families Hire Personal Historians to Preserve Their Legacy," 26 Oct. 2018 An even newer version, TC-GMLRS, can range out to 90 miles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "F-35, Ground Rocket Launcher Team Up to Destroy Target with Pinpoint Accuracy," 8 Oct. 2018 The lighting is usually bad and the smells can range from plastic to pastrami sandwiches. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This Delicious Vegan Bodega Just Opened in the West Village—Here's What to Try First," 1 Oct. 2018 The severity of an allergic reaction triggered by food can range from mild to life-threatening. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Gina Rodriguez, Who Is ‘Deathly Allergic’ to Blueberries, Accidentally Ate a Blueberry," 26 Sep. 2018 Such organization can range from financial support to the distribution and preparation of information and pamphlets. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Hungary's populist government abolishes gender studies courses," 11 Aug. 2018 Visits can range from spending a few hours at a park with your Pal to even joining them at a wedding. Alessandra Puccio /, NBC News, "Finding your (hidden) value," 13 July 2018

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

Statistics for range

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for range

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

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More Definitions for range



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 \

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 \

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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