\ 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

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 Italy has the European Union’s least efficient judicial process, with courts taking an average of more than 500 days to reach a first conclusion in civil and commercial cases, the European Commission concluded in July. Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2022 Police called the man to tell him to stop communicating with the woman, but were unable to reach him. cleveland, 18 Jan. 2022 Unless the major telecommunications companies are blocked by federal regulators or reach an agreement with the airlines, they are now scheduled to turn on their 5G service nationwide on January 19. CBS News, 18 Jan. 2022 For Vietnam’s farmers and traders, not being able to reach Chinese consumers is crippling. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, 18 Jan. 2022 His speeches became legendary enough to reach YouTube during his Buckeyes tenure. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, 18 Jan. 2022 Although the musical has never before been performed at the high school level, Marianetti was able to reach the composers, who eventually gave permission for York Drama to perform the piece. Graydon Megan,, 18 Jan. 2022 If the government cannot reach an agreement, HBTSS could be limited to 2021 spending levels for the project: $130 million, a sum that would likely imperil the project’s schedule. Jason Sherman, Scientific American, 18 Jan. 2022 In addition, while the global nature of Fortnite fandom helps songs in montage videos reach around the world, plays from countries outside of the U.S. — Mexico, Russia, Brazil — also earn less than plays that originate Stateside. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 18 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More Americans can now afford a $1,000 emergency expense, but that goal still remains out of reach to the majority of U.S. households. Megan Leonhardt, Fortune, 19 Jan. 2022 Social-distancing reminders are tennis-themed, with spectators urged to keep a racket’s reach from each other. Alice Uribe, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 The handheld car vacuum comes with three different attachments: a narrow hose for getting into tight spaces, an extension for more reach, and a brush head to get deep into upholstery. Ariel Scotti,, 18 Jan. 2022 The top spot in the AP poll is within Auburn’s reach, but the Tigers couldn’t quite get a hold of it following their 13th straight win. Tom Green |, al, 17 Jan. 2022 His desperation fourth-down pass was just out of receiver Cedrick Wilson's reach. Schuyler Dixon, ajc, 17 Jan. 2022 But the 49ers got a stop at midfield when Prescott's desperation fourth-down pass was just out of the receiver Cedrick Wilson's reach. Schuyler Dixon, Chron, 16 Jan. 2022 The reach of Saturday’s hostage-taking has already stretched beyond Texas and even the United States. Alexa Ura, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Jan. 2022 As supply chains recover from pandemic shocks and reach of pandemic-era stimulus policies wanes, many remain hopeful that this will help ease inflationary pressures. Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, 15 Jan. 2022

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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Statistics for reach

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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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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