\ ˈrēch How to pronounce reach (audio) \
reached; reaching; reaches

Definition of reach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to stretch out : extend
b : thrust
2a : to touch or grasp by extending a part of the body (such as a hand) or an object couldn't reach the apple
b : to pick up and draw toward one : take
c(1) : to extend to the shadow reached the wall
(2) : to get up to or as far as : come to your letter reached me yesterday his voice reached the last rows they hoped to reach an agreement
d(1) : encompass
(2) : to make an impression on
(3) : to communicate with
3 : to hand over : pass

intransitive verb

1a : to make a stretch with or as if with one's hand
b : to strain after something
2a : project, extend his land reaches to the river
b : to arrive at or come to something as far as the eye could reach
3 : to sail on a reach



Definition of reach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a continuous stretch or expanse especially : a straight portion of a stream or river
2a(1) : the action or an act of reaching
(2) : an individual part of a progression or journey
b(1) : a reachable distance within reach
(2) : ability to reach had a long reach
c : an extent or range especially of knowledge or comprehension
3 : a bearing shaft or coupling pole especially : the rod joining the hind axle to the forward bolster of a wagon
4 : the tack sailed by a ship with the wind coming just forward of the beam or with the wind directly abeam or abaft the beam
5 : echelon, level usually used in plural the upper reaches of academia

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Other Words from reach


reachable \ ˈrē-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce reach (audio) \ adjective
reacher noun

Examples of reach in a Sentence

Verb She couldn't reach the apple. She was too short. He couldn't reach the apple, even with a stick. She can't reach that far. We reached California after driving for two days. Their land reaches the river. Their land reaches to the river. The phone cord doesn't reach. Noun The ball was just out of reach. Their goal is out of reach. The country's farthest reaches had not been explored. the upper reaches of the business the upper reaches of the river
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If treasuries’ fundamental value is shaken, the aftershocks will reach Americans’ retirement accounts and jobs, the value of the dollar and the government’s borrowing costs. Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2021 According to Adobe's Digital Economy Index (via Forbes), global e-commerce sales should reach $4.2 trillion this year, with U.S. consumers accounting for nearly one-quarter of that spending. Daniel Sokolovsky, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 In either event, the company could easily reach what sources say is $55 million in net publishers share, if the fees from the publishing administration platform were included. Ed Christman, Billboard, 8 Oct. 2021 People who are interested in applying can reach out to the office by calling (210) 335-JOBS. Megan Rodriguez, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Oct. 2021 To find out if you can get paid to be a caregiver, reach out to your state's Medicaid program. Jennifer Chesak,, 7 Oct. 2021 Fox News could not immediately reach the White House for comment. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 7 Oct. 2021 Disability healthcare costs in Maryland can reach as high as $21,118 per person each year, according to a 2019 Disability and Health Data report the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued., 7 Oct. 2021 The Atlantic goliath grouper can reach 800 pounds and be over 8 feet long, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Ed Killer, USA TODAY, 7 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the reach of Black churches may be limited, especially with younger people. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 10 Oct. 2021 Local stories produced for a global audience, both series reflect not only Thabethe’s trajectory as a rising international talent, but also the growing reach of a South African industry poised to make a giant leap in the coming years. Carole Horst, Variety, 9 Oct. 2021 But the reach of Black churches may be limited, especially with younger people. Liam Stack, New York Times, 9 Oct. 2021 Under his purview, Sony signed young hit writers from Keityn and Jay Wheeler to Nicki Nicole and Bizarrap in addition to extending the reach of fixtures like Daddy Yankee. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 7 Oct. 2021 And the reach of influence of her revelations is quickly spreading around the globe. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 As a result of the acquisition, Coalition expands the reach of its cyber insurance to more policyholders through the Attune marketplace. Tony Bradley, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Experts have proposed various ways to expand the reach of clinical trials and include more diverse and representative groups. C.k. Wang, STAT, 1 Oct. 2021 Facebook could refuse to renew its payment agreements or suppress the reach and distribution of those news outlets if their content includes articles that are unfavorable toward it. Mark Weinstein, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reach


Middle English rechen, from Old English rǣcan; akin to Old High German reichen to reach, Lithuanian raižytis to stretch oneself

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Time Traveler for reach

Time Traveler

The first known use of reach was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near reach



reach a compromise

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for reach



English Language Learners Definition of reach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be able to touch, pick up, or grab (something) by moving or stretching
: to move or stretch (your hand, arm, etc.) when you are trying to touch or grab something
: to arrive at (a place that you have been traveling to)



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

: the distance that you can stretch your arm to touch, pick up, or grab something
: the ability or power of someone or something to do, achieve, or control something
: the parts of an area that are a long way from the center


\ ˈrēch How to pronounce reach (audio) \
reached; reaching

Kids Definition of reach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to extend the arm far enough to touch or grab I can't reach the top shelf.
2 : to arrive at : come We should reach the border before noon.
3 : to extend or stretch to Their land reaches the river.
4 : to communicate with I tried to reach you by phone.
5 : to grow, develop, or increase The temperature reached a record high.



Kids Definition of reach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the distance within which something can be touched or grabbed Keep matches out of the reach of children.
2 : the act of stretching especially to take hold of something Make a reach for my hand.
3 : the probability that something can be achieved Success is within reach.
4 : an unbroken stretch (as of a river)
5 : ability to stretch (as an arm) so as to touch something She has a long reach.

Choose the Right Synonym for reach


reach, gain, and achieve mean to arrive at a point or end by work or effort. reach is used for arriving at something or some place by any amount of effort. They reached the city after many days. gain is used of a struggle to arrive at a goal. The slaves gained their freedom. achieve is used when skill or courage is involved. The artist achieved greatness.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of reach

1 : to extend application to
2 : to obtain an interest in or possession of unable to reach all the assets of the debtor
3a : to arrive at and consider the justices did not reach that issue
b : to amount to did not reach a due process violation

Other Words from reach

reach noun
reachable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on reach

Nglish: Translation of reach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reach for Arabic Speakers


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