rank

noun
\ ˈraŋk How to pronounce rank (audio) \

Definition of rank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : relative standing or position
b : a degree or position of dignity, eminence, or excellence : distinction soon took rank as a leading attorney— J. D. Hicks
c : high social position the privileges of rank
d : a grade of official standing in a hierarchy
2 : an aggregate of individuals classed together usually used in plural
3a : row, series
b : a row of people
c(1) : a line of soldiers ranged side by side in close order
(2) ranks plural : armed forces
(3) ranks plural : the body of enlisted personnel
d : any of the rows of squares that extend across a chessboard perpendicular to the files
e British : stand sense 6
4 : an orderly arrangement : formation
5 : the order according to some statistical characteristic (such as the score on a test)
6 : any of a series of classes of coal based on increasing alteration of the parent vegetable matter, increasing carbon content, and increasing fuel value
7 : the number of linearly independent rows or columns in a matrix

rank

verb
ranked; ranking; ranks

Definition of rank (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to determine the relative position of : rate a highly ranked prospect
2 : to arrange in lines or in a regular formation
3 : to take precedence of

intransitive verb

1 : to take or have a position in relation to others ranks first in her class
2 : to form or move in ranks

rank

adjective

Definition of rank (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : offensive in odor or flavor especially : rancid
2a : shockingly conspicuous must lecture him on his rank disloyalty— David Walden
b : outright used as an intensive rank beginners
3 : luxuriantly or excessively vigorous in growth
4 : offensively gross or coarse : foul
6 : high in amount or degree : fraught
7 archaic : lustful, ruttish
8 obsolete : grown too large

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Other Words from rank

Adjective

rankly adverb
rankness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rank

Synonyms: Noun

degree, echelon, footing, level, place, position, ranking, reach(es), rung, situation, standing, station, status, stratum

Synonyms: Verb

be, grade, place, rate, stand

Synonyms: Adjective

lush, luxuriant, prosperous, rampant, weedy

Antonyms: Adjective

sparse

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Choose the Right Synonym for rank

Adjective

malodorous, stinking, fetid, noisome, putrid, rank, fusty, musty mean bad-smelling. malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive. malodorous fertilizers stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting. prisoners were held in stinking cells the fetid odor of skunk cabbage noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive. a stagnant, noisome sewer putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter. the putrid smell of rotting fish rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell. rank cigar smoke fusty and musty suggest lack of fresh air and sunlight, fusty also implying prolonged uncleanliness, musty stressing the effects of dampness, mildew, or age. a fusty attic the musty odor of a damp cellar

flagrant, glaring, gross, rank mean conspicuously bad or objectionable. flagrant applies usually to offenses or errors so bad that they can neither escape notice nor be condoned. flagrant abuse of the office of president glaring implies painful or damaging obtrusiveness of something that is conspicuously wrong, faulty, or improper. glaring errors gross implies the exceeding of reasonable or excusable limits. gross carelessness rank applies to what is openly and extremely objectionable and utterly condemned. rank heresy

Examples of rank in a Sentence

Noun

people of high rank and profession She's not concerned about rank or wealth. officers with the rank of captain He rose to the rank of partner in the law firm. He longed to join the upper social ranks. military ranks such as private, corporal, and sergeant He moved up through the ranks to become vice president of the company. The organization's ranks have doubled in the past two years. The flu swept through the ranks, infecting almost every soldier. Several men were selected from the ranks.

Verb

A magazine recently ranked the school as one of the best in the country. The city currently ranks as the world's largest. Students who rank in the top third of their class have a better chance of being accepted to the college of their choice.

Adjective

You can't expect a rank beginner like her to know all the rules of the game. covered with trumpet vines so rank you couldn't see the trellis beneath them
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Rookies from the prep ranks are locals: center Jalen Graham (Phoenix Mountain Pointe), point guard Jaelen House (Phoenix Shadow Mountain) and combo guard Caleb Christopher (Phoenix Hillcrest). Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "ASU men's basketball coach Bobby Hurley finalizes Sun Devils roster, looks to next season," 17 June 2019 The eight-year Bears head coach on Wednesday became the first women’s head coach to be summoned from the collegiate ranks and onto an NBA staff. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Cal’s Lindsay Gottlieb leaving to join Cleveland Cavaliers," 12 June 2019 The female audience came from all ranks of society, ranging from royalty to common criminals. Phyllis Rackin, The Atlantic, "The Hidden Women Writers of the Elizabethan Theater," 8 June 2019 The proposal intensifies a tug of war between the pharmaceutical industry and an HHS secretary who emerged from its ranks and has striven to dispel any perception of alignment with his former drugmaker colleagues. Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Drugmakers may have to disclose prices of medicine in television ads," 15 Oct. 2018 Assuming that no Democrats cross the aisle to vote for Kavanaugh, this allows Republicans to lose only one vote from their ranks (with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie in Republicans’ favor). German Lopez, Vox, "The FBI investigation of Kavanaugh was doomed from the start," 5 Oct. 2018 But Pelosi has faced uprisings from the ranks before, most notably after Democrats lost control of the House after the tea party Republican wave of 2010. Fox News, "Defiant Pelosi says she's staying: 'I can take the heat'," 24 Aug. 2018 While Partridge, Spencer Pratt, Heidi Montag and even Justin Bobby showed up, a couple of key players were missing from the ranks. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Whitney Port Confirms She's Coming Back for 'The Hills: New Beginnings'," 22 Aug. 2018 Her victory is also the latest strike against the leadership of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a longtime bête noire for conservatives who in recent months has faced increasing criticism from her own ranks. Nash Jenkins, Time, "How Democrats in Congress Responded to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Surprise Win," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The ruling allows Salisa Luster Harrison to move forward with depositions of past and present high-ranking police officials. Benjamin Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Federal judge partially rejects LMPD's motion to dismiss rape investigation lawsuit," 20 June 2019 He's met with general managers and high-ranking officials from teams. Kaelen Jones, SI.com, "Zylan Cheatham Is the NBA Draft's Hidden Gem," 19 June 2019 In some cases, the disparity can be attributed to a lack of access to higher-ranking, better paying jobs. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Swiss women are going on strike against gender inequality," 13 June 2019 The highest-ranking attorney, known as the chief, handles some managerial duties and high-level cases including capital murders. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Data raises questions about Harris County DA’s push for 100 more lawyers," 10 June 2019 Council members sought the probes after the IT Department’s top-ranking administrator failed to appear before their Public Safety and Justice Committee to answer questions about the 2014 Homeland Security grant. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com, "Excusable mistakes or bad governance? A look back at 17 months under Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish," 7 June 2019 Cardinal Kevin Farrell, a high-ranking Vatican official who served for years in the District of Columbia, received two checks totaling $29,000 for expenses related to an apartment in Rome, documents show. Anchorage Daily News, "W. Virgnia bishop spent millions on himself and sent cash to priests he was accused of mistreating, Vatican report says," 5 June 2019 Several high-ranking security service officers have been named in the case, but none have served a day in prison. Wired Staff, WIRED, "The One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 3 June 2019 Chimpanzees lower themselves in the presence of high-ranking individuals and issue a special kind of grunt to greet them. Frans De Waal, Discover Magazine, "Cheerful Chimps: Are Animals Really Happy When They Smile?," 31 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The department did not rank intersections by crashes for 2014 and 2015. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Dempster-Potter had highest number of reported crashes last year: Park Ridge police," 19 June 2018 And while Latvian elections don’t exactly rank high on the list of an American president’s priorities, the White House could have guessed what the Russians were gearing up to do — and should have sent them a forceful message to knock it off. Ian Bremmer, Time, "Yes, Obama Mishandled Russia's Election Hacking. But So Has Trump," 22 Feb. 2018 Key to that turnaround has been the Horns' ability to get opposing offenses off the field — their rank sixth nationally in third-down conversion defense. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "College football preview: Oklahoma State at Texas," 20 Oct. 2017 Any attempt to model tax liability in the new system will be rank speculation. David L. Bahnsen, National Review, "A Fairer Tax Code Is a More Efficient Tax Code," 17 Oct. 2017 The design style did not rank number one in any state. Jenna Milliner-waddell, ELLE Decor, "The Most-Searched Design Style In The United States Is So Unexpected," 10 Aug. 2017 The nexus inspires the most rank forms of situational ethics and rationalizations. The Hive, "Obama Cashes In—And the Media Piles On," 28 Apr. 2017

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Verb

1573, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for rank

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French renc, reng, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hring ring — more at ring

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English ranc overbearing, strong; akin to Old Norse rakkr erect and perhaps to Old English riht right — more at right

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Statistics for rank

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rank

The first known use of rank was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for rank

rank

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a position in a society, organization, group, etc.
: a high position in a society, organization, group, etc.
: the people or things that belong to a particular organization or group

rank

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rank (Entry 2 of 3)

: to place (someone or something) in a particular position among a group of people or things that are being judged according to quality, ability, size, etc.
: to have a particular position in a group of people or things that are being judged according to quality, ability, size, etc.
: to arrange (people or things) in a line or row

rank

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of rank (Entry 3 of 3)

: having a strong, unpleasant smell
: very bad and obvious
: complete or total

rank

noun
\ ˈraŋk How to pronounce rank (audio) \

Kids Definition of rank

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : row entry 2 sense 1, series ranks of houses
2 : a line of soldiers standing side by side
3 ranks plural : the body of enlisted persons in an army
4 : position within a group Who is highest in rank in this office?
5 : high social position
6 : official grade or position the rank of major

rank

adjective

Kids Definition of rank (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : strong and active in growth rank weeds
2 : outright entry 2 sense 1 rank dishonesty
3 : having an unpleasant smell The room was rank with smoke.

rank

verb
ranked; ranking

Kids Definition of rank (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to take or have a certain position in a group He ranks near the top of the class.
2 : to arrange in a classification
3 : to arrange in lines or in a formation

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More from Merriam-Webster on rank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rank

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rank

Spanish Central: Translation of rank

Nglish: Translation of rank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rank for Arabic Speakers

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