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

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Billboard's two global charts (the latest of which are dated May 8) began last September and rank songs based on streaming and sales activity culled from more than 200 territories around the world, as compiled by MRC Data. Gary Trust, Billboard, "The Weeknd & Ariana Grande's 'Save Your Tears' & Lil Nas X's 'Montero' Rise to No. 1 on Billboard Global Charts," 3 May 2021 His 390 career wins rank 14th all time — one win more than Hasek, by the way. BostonGlobe.com, "How New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox has already made a name for himself," 1 May 2021 First-rank sponsors continued to flee as Carlson’s pitch to right-wing viewers became ever more febrile. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Tucker Carlson mystery: How does his show survive without major advertisers?," 30 Apr. 2021 New Yorkers will also be using rank choice voting — which only makes the race all the more unpredictable. Julian Zelizer, CNN, "What makes Andrew Yang appealing to New Yorkers?," 30 Apr. 2021 Solon and Chagrin Falls rank as the fifth and eighth best high schools in Ohio in this year’s U.S. News & World Report 2021 rankings. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "2020 election drew 17 million more voters than 2016 – largest increase in history: The Wake Up for Friday, April 30, 2021," 30 Apr. 2021 Val made her grand debut in the show's fifth episode, after John Walker (Wyatt Russell) was stripped of his title and rank as Captain America after killing one of the Flag-Smashers in a public display. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Marvel producers tease big plans for Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 'She's game for it!'," 29 Apr. 2021 Those chefs and cooks make just under $48,500 a year, while cooks in lower-rank positions made around $25,000 a year. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "This program wants to close the gender gap in restaurants. Meet its 2021 female chef class," 28 Apr. 2021 In Zink’s estimation, this definition makes the taxonomic rank of subspecies more or less superfluous. Zach St. George, Harper's Magazine, "Birds of a Feather," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb American Airlines improved three spots from 2019 to rank 7th after being ranked as the worst airline in 2019. Dallas News, "Southwest Airlines was the nation’s best carrier in pandemic-stricken 2020, study says," 3 May 2021 Pointing his supporters to a less-competitive second choice may also have a tactical benefit: encouraging voters to rank his more popular competitors lower on their ballots. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "Kathryn Garcia Doesn’t Want Andrew Yang’s Praise," 1 May 2021 Missouri continues to rank in the bottom third among states for per capita vaccinations. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Firefly lottery, vaccine exemptions, data breach: News from around our 50 states," 29 Apr. 2021 The association plans to rank multiple factors from flights and operations to infrastructure. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, "In a Push to Sustainability, Private Aviation Embraces Carbon-Offset Programs and Low-Emission Fuel," 29 Apr. 2021 There was a survey or something done where people had to rank careers from most important to least important. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "One Year In: Singer STORRY Scored Her 2nd Juno Nomination, Is 'Living Off Savings'," 29 Apr. 2021 These declines come as Connecticut continues to rank among the national leaders in COVID-19 vaccination, with 54% of state residents having received at least one shot. Alex Putterman, courant.com, "Daily coronavirus updates: Connecticut records 1.3% COVID-19 positivity rate, lowest in a day since October," 29 Apr. 2021 Anderson became the first Black female district chief in 2011, the first Black female promoted to rank of colonel in 2019 as well as being promoted to undersheriff, the first Black woman in that position. Jennifer Shapiro-sacks, sun-sentinel.com, "Non-profit Bowtie Kids helps children with chronic pain," 28 Apr. 2021 This year, Fortune has once again joined forces with IBM Watson Health to rank the very best hospitals and health systems in the country. Fortune, "The 2021 Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In none has the national government deliberately stepped away from managing the crisis or substituted rank partisanship for the sober assessment of scientific knowledge. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "2020 was the year that American science denial became lethal," 13 Dec. 2020 Indianapolis ranks second in the league in total yards (293.4 per game) and fifth in points (19.4 per game), but all seven offenses the Colts have faced so far rank 16th in the NFL in yardage or worse. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 34 things to watch in Colts vs. Ravens showdown," 7 Nov. 2020 This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Fox News, "Texas AG on NY AG seeking to dissolve NRA: ‘In Texas we care about what the founders put in the Constitution’," 9 Aug. 2020 This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Fox News, "Texas AG on NY AG seeking to dissolve NRA: ‘In Texas we care about what the founders put in the Constitution’," 9 Aug. 2020 This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Fox News, "Texas AG on NY AG seeking to dissolve NRA: ‘In Texas we care about what the founders put in the Constitution’," 9 Aug. 2020 This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Fox News, "Texas AG on NY AG seeking to dissolve NRA: ‘In Texas we care about what the founders put in the Constitution’," 9 Aug. 2020 This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Fox News, "Texas AG on NY AG seeking to dissolve NRA: ‘In Texas we care about what the founders put in the Constitution’," 9 Aug. 2020 This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Fox News, "Texas AG on NY AG seeking to dissolve NRA: ‘In Texas we care about what the founders put in the Constitution’," 9 Aug. 2020

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, "row, series, high social position," borrowed from Anglo-Frenchrenc, ranc "line of soldiers, jousting lists, line or rank of persons or things" (continental Old & Middle French also "position in a series or class, high social position"), going back to Old Low Franconian *hringa- "circle, ring," going back to Germanic *hrenga — more at ring entry 1

Verb

derivative of rank entry 1

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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Time Traveler for rank

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rank

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rank. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rank

Nglish: Translation of rank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rank for Arabic Speakers

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