rank and file


Definition of rank and file

1 : the enlisted personnel of an armed force
2 : the individuals who constitute the body of an organization, society, or nation as distinguished from the leaders

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Other Words from rank and file

rank-and-file \ ˌraŋk-​ᵊn-​ˈfī(-​ə)l How to pronounce rank-and-file (audio) \ adjective
rank and filer \ ˌraŋk-​ᵊn-​ˈfī-​lər How to pronounce rank and filer (audio) \ noun

Examples of rank and file in a Sentence

the chosen few might have the opportunity for a trip in the space shuttle, but it will be a while before the rank and file are taking space trips

Recent Examples on the Web

As if bridging the gap between rank and file and management's view of the industry wasn't tough enough, into this mix came a scandal that could shake member confidence in the union's leadership. Chris Isidore, CNN, "The GM strike was inevitable. How it will end isn't so clear," 17 Sep. 2019 The Democratic rank and file don’t want to pay the GOP’s ransom. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Progressive Case for Giving Trump His Stupid Wall," 11 Jan. 2018 The Party is top-heavy with former commanders of the defense establishment who, like many of the Likud rank and file, instinctively favor a national-unity government and tend toward a secular-nationalist rhetoric. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, "The Israeli Election Is Next Week, and Unprecedented Alliances Are Moving Against Netanyahu," 10 Sep. 2019 State Department morale has been so low in part because the number of top-level vacancies is so high, in addition to significant cuts in the rank and file under Tillerson. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "Pompeo knows to boost morale; boosting foreign aid also should be on his agenda," 4 May 2018 But confronted with splintering unity in the Democratic rank and file and intractable opposition from McConnell, Pelosi changed course. Anchorage Daily News, "House sends Trump $4.6B border bill, yielding to Senate," 27 June 2019 But confronted with splintering unity in the Democratic rank and file and intractable opposition from McConnell, Pelosi changed course. Andrew Taylor, chicagotribune.com, "House sends Trump $4.6 billion border bill, yielding to Senate plan and dealing blow to progressive wing," 27 June 2019 As the most visible manifestation of an otherwise stonewalling government, the rank and file bear the brunt of protesters’ rage against the authorities. Laignee Barron / Hong Kong, Time, "Suspected 'Triad' Gangs Mark Dangerous New Phase in Hong Kong's Crisis," 23 July 2019 In fact, Americans may have grown accustomed to the idea that C-suite executives would take home tens of millions of dollars a year, while the rank and file see their wages rise by a few percent. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "Abigail Disney has a point. Paying more to rank-and-file workers can be good for business," 17 July 2019

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

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for rank and file

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for rank and file

The first known use of rank and file was in 1598

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More Definitions for rank and file

rank and file


Legal Definition of rank and file

: the general membership of a union

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More from Merriam-Webster on rank and file

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rank and file

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rank and file

Spanish Central: Translation of rank and file

Nglish: Translation of rank and file for Spanish Speakers

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