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

Analysts now expect weaker growth world-wide to lower demand for a range of commodities and products. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Investors Confront Growth Fears Ahead of G-20 Summit," 27 Nov. 2018 Plus, everything in the line is affordable—products in the collection range from $50 to $850, with several sofas retailing for as low as $499. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Amazon Just Released A New Home Collection Of Stylish Classics," 29 Oct. 2018 Kepler-1625b appears to orbit in its star's habitable zone, the just-right range of distances where liquid water might be stable on a world's surface. Mike Wall, Space.com, "First Exomoon Found? Neptune-Sized World Possibly Spotted Orbiting Alien Planet," 3 Oct. 2018 Séraphine's jeans mostly hover at $99—more expensive than fast-fashion brands, but not totally out of reach for a wide range of shoppers. Leah Bourne, Glamour, "The Big Business of Maternity Denim," 24 Aug. 2018 The company listed a range of full-time opportunities in different fields. Alexis Jones, Woman's Day, "Amazon Is Hiring Over 200 Work-From-Home Positions With Benefits," 9 Aug. 2018 The top floor of Nike’s store is a full design studio run by Nike Experts, where existing patterns can be made to a shopper’s liking in a range of exclusive materials and colors. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Two Very Big Reasons You Should Do Your Holiday Shopping in Midtown Manhattan," 20 Nov. 2018 As with all of our awards, these leggings go up to at least a size XL, with several offered in a wider range of sizes. SELF, "The 13 Best New Leggings and Shorts for High-Impact Workouts," 12 Nov. 2018 There’s no pricing information for its global release yet, but the Black Shark costs about $480 for a model with 6GB RAM / 64GB storage in China, so expect the price to be in that range. Dami Lee, The Verge, "The Xiaomi Black Shark gaming phone is coming to Europe," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The complaints range from being barred from promotions, forced to scrub the factory floors, and allege that supervisors have directed racial slurs at employees. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Black Tesla factory workers describe racism and discrimination, NYT reports," 30 Nov. 2018 It also should have considered whether the government agency’s balancing of the benefits and costs of the designation – estimates ranged from nothing to a $33 million loss for the property owners – was flawed, Roberts and the court held. Robert Barnes, The Seattle Times, "Supreme Court deals a setback to the endangered dusky gopher frog," 27 Nov. 2018 There are plenty of Oreo flavors out there just for snacking, ranging from Peppermint Bark to Red Velvet. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Amazon Currently Selling an Oreo Music Box," 25 Nov. 2018 After hearing over 150 statements ranging two decades, Judge Aquilina sentenced Nassar to up to 175 years in prison. Glamour, "The Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar on Life After the Ruling," 11 Nov. 2018 The menu at this small coffee shop ranges from standard drinks to more unusual items, including the Iced Old Town Muddy, a combination of cafe latte with matcha and sugar, and the passion fruit iced tea. Katie Lockhart, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 Best Places For Coffee in Bangkok," 18 Oct. 2018 Depending on your carrier, the V40 ranges from $900 to $980, just a touch below the Samsung Note 9. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Meet the LG V40 ThinQ: More screen, more battery, and more cameras," 3 Oct. 2018 Since testing regulations went into full swing there on July 1, labs have examined nearly 11,000 batches of products ranging from buds to oils and edibles. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Calif. safety tests pass moldy marijuana but fail ~20% of products overall," 11 Sep. 2018 According to the Mayo Clinic, the color of normal urine ranges from pale yellow to deep amber. Amy Capetta, Redbook, "6 Signs of UTI That You'll Hopefully Never Experience," 6 Aug. 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

10 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on range

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with range

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for range

Spanish Central: Translation of range

Nglish: Translation of range for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of range for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about range

Comments on range

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having a pattern of small flowers

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