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

Last month, in a move that seemed to catch the Trump administration flatfooted, Italy broke ranks with other leading... William A. Galston, WSJ, "Is It Too Late to Counter China’s Rise?," 2 Apr. 2019 Rising through the Baltimore force’s ranks since the late 1980s, De Sousa’s speedy downfall after being named commissioner early last year was a blow to Mayor Catherine Pugh and the City Council, which nearly unanimously authorized his promotion. David Mcfadden, The Seattle Times, "Ex-police boss gets 10-month prison sentence for tax fraud," 29 Mar. 2019 Republicans are now almost entirely invisible within the ranks of its activists. Jay P. Greene And Frederick M. Hess, WSJ, "Democrats Have Taken Over Education Reform," 7 Mar. 2019 Leaders of the national Women's March have failed to address anti-Semitism within its ranks and Jewish women are hurt, disappointed, and fed up, says Molly Jong-Fast. Molly Jong-fast, Glamour, "We’ve Outgrown the Women’s March. Here’s What Happens Next.," 18 Jan. 2019 In 2018, the architecture and design professions also examined their own practices to achieve equity within their ranks. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How cities became more equitable in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Now in 2018, with another chance to take Walker down, Democrats don’t have a clear star within their ranks to mount the challenge. Tara Golshan, Vox, "The race to unseat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Democrats’ white whale, explained," 13 Aug. 2018 For decades, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has struggled to combat a problem within its own ranks: Secretive cliques of deputies who bonded over aggressive, often violent, police work and branded themselves with matching tattoos. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: Why the heat left so many powerless in L.A.," 10 July 2018 Gabi's departure is a sore one for the club, but his exit opens up the opportunity for a new star within their ranks. SI.com, "Atletico Close in on Gelson Martins & Nikola Kalinic as Diego Simeone Finalises Transfer Plans," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Disgraced CBS boss Les Moonves was nowhere to be found on the Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Most Powerful People in Entertainment list released this week — after the mogul was ranked No. Ian Mohr, Fox News, "Disgraced Les Moonves dropped from 'Most Powerful People' list," 22 Sep. 2018 Much of Alaska has unreliable internet, with HighSpeedInternet.com ranking it third-to-last in terms of internet connectivity in the U.S. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Not Even John Oliver Could Save Two of the Last Remaining Blockbusters in the U.S.," 13 July 2018 Sports Illustrated ranked him No. 9 on its list of the top 100 players in college football. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Rashan Gary named college football's biggest athletic freak," 13 July 2018 Obama fares best with millennials, the largest generation in the country, with 46 percent of them ranking him as their favorite. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Obama tops survey of ‘best presidents’; Trump runs fourth," 12 July 2018 Apparently that was the MU coaching staff’s pitch to Tray Jackson, a forward from Michigan who took an unofficial visit to Mizzou in early June and is ranked No. Aaron Reiss And Alex Schiffer, kansascity, "Mizzou basketball’s most-coveted 2019 prospect has a new potential suitor: Duke," 12 July 2018 Two years later, in the final BCS rankings of 2010, LSU was incorrectly ranked ahead of Boise State, at No. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "The Computer Poll Uprising: Creators of the BCS's Most Controversial Component Look Back," 11 July 2018 Many have opened multiple locations in the borough and have ranked them among among their top performers. Lauren Coleman-lochner And Eliza Ronalds-hannon, chicagotribune.com, "Mall tenants had an out when giants like Macy's left. Now landlords bar the door," 9 July 2018 Other high-ranking metros include: Durham, North Carolina; Oakland, California; and Silver Spring, Maryland. Gene Balk / Fyi Guy, The Seattle Times, "Where might voters support a Green New Deal? Seattle ranks high, new survey data show," 26 Mar. 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

13 Apr 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

Comments on rank

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