rank

noun
\ ˈraŋk \

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

Search for your city’s fastest broadband provider as well as mean download and upload speeds here: As of October, the U.S. ranked seventh in the world in broadband and 43rd in mobile download speeds — a slight increase in rank from last year. Rani Molla, Recode, "U.S. internet speeds rose nearly 40 percent this year," 12 Dec. 2018 Most troublingly, Louisiana’s rate of residents with Type 2 diabetes ranks among the highest in the country. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How urban planners can promote health and wellness," 25 July 2018 According to a press release from the department, Fisher worked his way up the ranks, becoming a lieutenant in 1987, a captain in 1999, and deputy chief in 2000. Morgan Hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "Curing the flu, wedding dresses for soldiers, and food for the elderly," 13 July 2018 Meghan Markle has quickly risen to the ranks of one of our ultimate fashion icons. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "5 Meghan Markle Halloween 2018 Costume Ideas," 29 Sep. 2018 Elevating that world view to the executive ranks of a company with the power and reach of Facebook is downright dangerous. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook is pushing out its most creative skeptics," 28 Sep. 2018 Harry was in the Army for 10 years and rose to the rank of Captain after two tours in Afghanistan. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Interesting Reason Why Prince Harry's Real Wedding Uniform Won't Go on Display," 30 Aug. 2018 Eleven years later, Bender was promoted to the rank of detective with the Simi Valley Police and started looking at old case files. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Win or lose, baseball's just as sweet for exonerated man," 11 July 2018 Pajot and another detective on the case, James Campbell, were promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A triple homicide, a son left behind: How a Milwaukee police detective built a trusting bond with a survivor of violence," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Currently, this Orolay coat ranked as the #1 bestseller on Amazon's site. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Why Everyone You Know Is Buying This $130 Amazon Coat," 18 Jan. 2019 That same Iowa poll ranked both Harris and Warren in the single digits. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "2020 Democratic hopefuls are under pressure to build diverse teams," 29 Dec. 2018 Search for your city’s fastest broadband provider as well as mean download and upload speeds here: As of October, the U.S. ranked seventh in the world in broadband and 43rd in mobile download speeds — a slight increase in rank from last year. Rani Molla, Recode, "U.S. internet speeds rose nearly 40 percent this year," 12 Dec. 2018 These airlines rank lowest for legroom, with the cheapest seats sardine-packing passengers in between 29 to 31 inches of seat pitch. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Airlines Have the Most Legroom," 17 Oct. 2018 The lowest ranked team at the start of the tournament, Russia made it to the quarterfinals after beating Spain, a powerful squad that won the World Cup in 2010. Sabra Ayres, latimes.com, "World Cup gives Russia a global makeover, but how long will that last?," 10 July 2018 While Pruitt’s recruiting prowess and defensive credentials are plain, Tennessee loses leading rusher John Kelly from an offense that ranked last in the SEC at 4.77 yards per play and 19.8 points per game last season. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "First-Year Outlooks for the SEC's Six New Head Coaches in 2018," 6 July 2018 Explore the full best and worst cities for recreation in 2018 ranking at WalletHub.com. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Atlanta ranks among best cities in America for recreation," 6 July 2018 Russia was the lowest ranked team in the event, at No. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "The chances a long-suffering nation wins the World Cup is greater than normal," 4 July 2018

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

16 Feb 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 \

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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