rank·​ing | \ ˈraŋ-kiŋ How to pronounce ranking (audio) \

Definition of ranking

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having a high position: such as
a : of the highest rank the ranking officer
b : being next to the chairman in seniority ranking committee member


plural rankings

Definition of ranking (Entry 2 of 2)

: position, order, or standing within a group : rank The figures, compiled from federal surveys and a tourism research concern, earned New York City a second-place ranking nationwide as a destination for United States travelers, pushing Las Vegas down to the No. 3 spot.— Eric Lipton … if a site is linked to by sites of high quality and popularity, those links can raise the ranking of the first site.— Elizabeth Stone Playing primarily in regional events, she earned a ranking of No. 151, high enough to make the qualifying field at Roland Garros.— L. Jon Wertheim … he had the lowest interception rate and the highest ranking of any NFL quarterback …— Paul Zimmerman

Examples of ranking in a Sentence


Who is the ranking officer here? the country's ranking law school

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Briscoe will become the first African American woman to become a colonel in the department and its highest ranking woman. Mckenna Oxenden, baltimoresun.com, "Two female Baltimore Police officers promoted, colonel receives demotion," 16 Aug. 2019 The ranking Republican committee member, Rep. Garrett Graves, R-La. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Can Colorado help in the climate crisis? Congressional committee comes to state seeking guidance," 2 Aug. 2019 Padden, the ranking Republican on the Senate Law and Justice Committee, said in a statement. Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times, "Republican legislators blast Inslee administration over deaths at Monroe prison," 29 July 2019 The two committees are stacked with Trump’s allies, including Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), who is the ranking Republican on the intelligence panel. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, "Democrats and Republicans prepare for Mueller testimony, but with competing goals," 24 July 2019 The president’s daughter wasn’t the only high ranking official in Colorado Monday. Anna Staver, The Denver Post, "Ivanka Trump visits Lockheed Martin in Littleton as part of workforce development tour," 22 July 2019 The highest ranking courtier, the Duchess of Rivoli was a 19th-century stylist and confidant, accountable for all of Eugenie’s clothing and jewelry. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Claridge's Newest Hotel Suite Was Inspired by France's Last Empress," 5 June 2019 Although entry for mixed doubles events is based on a player’s singles or doubles ranking, the competition itself does not reward any ranking points. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "To Know Mixed Doubles’ Place in Tennis, Look at the Prize Money," 13 July 2018 Rady’s rankings in this year’s U.S. News report were as follows, with last year’s ranking listed second. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Rady again 10-for-10 in U.S. News report, but top rankings slip a bit," 26 June 2018

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


1847, in the meaning defined above


1836, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ranking

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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The first known use of ranking was in 1836

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English Language Learners Definition of ranking

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly US : having a high position or the highest position in a group or organization



English Language Learners Definition of ranking (Entry 2 of 2)

: a list of people or things that are ordered according to their quality, ability, size, etc.
: the position of a person or thing in the rankings

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Comments on ranking

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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