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


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

Another, of a nearby target range — human silhouettes at a distance, mountains of expended shotgun cartridges in the foreground — is blunt and outrageous (why do border agents need target practice?). BostonGlobe.com, "Through Jan. 5. Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge.," 13 Sep. 2019 Set up the rig so the bait or lure is a foot, or two, off the bottom and out of the range of bait-stealing round gobies. D'arcy Eagan, cleveland.com, "Lake Erie smallmouth bass biting around — where else? — the Bass Islands: Fishing Report for Sept. 13," 13 Sep. 2019 At the upper end of the range of options is a 4-foot tall granite column with spaces for two cremated remains at a cost of $5,999. Cindy Heflin, Detroit Free Press, "Metro Detroit cemeteries shift toward unique final resting place: Cremation gardens," 12 Sep. 2019 If prices fall too low, the firm will lose its aspirational glow (the top-of-the-range iPhone 11 Pro Max will cost you $1,449). The Economist, "Tim Cook tries to reduce Apple’s dependence on devices," 12 Sep. 2019 This would allow the company to raise as much as $1.2 billion in its upcoming IPO, valuing the company at $8.06 billion at the high end of the range. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Saudi Aramco’s Long-Awaited IPO Might Actually Happen: Term Sheet," 11 Sep. 2019 The two female entrepreneurs, both alums of management consulting firm McKinsey, have built an online community of more than 75 million people who can connect to employers and avail themselves of a range of tools to advance their careers. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "The Muse founders make finding a job less harrowing," 11 Sep. 2019 That’s $50 less than the iPhone Xr started at last year, suggesting that Apple has finally found the top of the price range that the average consumer is willing to pay for a new iPhone. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Everything Apple announced at today’s September event," 10 Sep. 2019 Based on that amount, prosecutors asked Talwani to send Huffman to prison for one month — a penalty at the low end of the zero-to-six-month range called for by sentencing guidelines. Los Angeles Times, "In college admissions scandal a judge must decide: Does it matter how much parents paid?," 10 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Cubs’ postseason odds have been locked in the same window since May 1, ranging from 65% to 85%. Emma Baccellieri, SI.com, "MLB Power Rankings: How August Reshaped the Playoff Picture," 30 Aug. 2019 The causes of rising inequality are diverse, ranging from globalization to de-industrialization. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Could a wealth tax end David Koch’s era of inequality?," 23 Aug. 2019 Her garbs are made from organic items, ranging from seashells and eggshells to stick and stones. San Diego Union-Tribune, "9 things to do in San Diego this weekend: San Diego Spirits Festival, ‘Black Life’ exhibit, Symphony at Salk," 23 Aug. 2019 To my knowledge, nobody knows how Forbes comes up with any of their stuff, ranging from valuations to what teams are making and not. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "United owner Bill McGuire talks money, stadium and the future of MLS," 23 Aug. 2019 Mekhitarian said the results were broken into a five-point scale, ranging from strongly agree to agree to neutral, then disagree or strongly disagree. Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, "Majority of Glendale Unified secondary students surveyed lack sense of belonging," 21 Aug. 2019 The supporters also cross the political spectrum, ranging from the Badger Institute and Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin to Kids Forward and Disability Rights Wisconsin. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Using dental therapists in Wisconsin draws broad support, but Wisconsin Dental Association opposed," 21 Aug. 2019 The variety of terpenes is really huge, ranging to over a hundred different ones, and the majority of them can be found solely in weed. Mike Adams, chicagotribune.com, "Why are cannabis terpenes so very important?," 19 Aug. 2019 Over the past two years, Maryland prosecutors have brought assorted homicide charges against alleged drug dealers — ranging from manslaughter to second-degree depraved heart murder. Phil Davis, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Attorney General wants more drug dealers charged with manslaughter after some fatal overdoses," 16 Aug. 2019

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

17 Sep 2019

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 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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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

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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