\ 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 pluralthe upper reaches of academia

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from reach


reachable \ ˈrē-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce reachable (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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To reach the community heading south on State Highway 121, exit at MacArthur Blvd. Dallas News, "Final homes selling quickly in 55-plus community," 13 Sep. 2020 Navigating chaos in order to reach a new destination. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "Make the leap or get swept away with the current," 13 Sep. 2020 Hoogeveen asked that customers update their accounts with current phone numbers and email addresses so the company can reach them. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Thousands of Utahns have gone days without power. Electricity might not return until after Sunday.," 12 Sep. 2020 But on Monday night, attempts to reach them by air from Fresno had failed twice. Elizabeth Roberts, USA TODAY, "How a dramatic helicopter rescue from the blazing Creek Fire unfolded in California," 11 Sep. 2020 Highs at the Portland International Airport are likely to reach 92. oregonlive, "Portland Tuesday weather: High wind, fire danger continue through afternoon," 8 Sep. 2020 IndyStar could not immediately reach Buttigieg for comment Sunday night. Natalia E. Contreras, The Indianapolis Star, "Pete Buttigieg reportedly joins Joe Biden presidential transition team," 8 Sep. 2020 This process might also include a contact-less temperature check, or a form requesting contact information in case the restaurant needs to reach you after your meal. Justin Phillips,, "Pandemic restaurant etiquette: What to know before dining out right now," 3 Sep. 2020 And sometimes, even when kids are found, attorneys struggle to reach them. Catherine E. Shoichet And Geneva Sands, CNN, "The US detained hundreds of migrant children in hotels as the pandemic flared," 3 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The places brought to us by the Internet are forever out of reach. Washington Post, "Raising kids in Gaza was hard enough. Then came a lockdown within the lockdown.," 12 Sep. 2020 Its reach is still significantly smaller than TikTok, which has about 100 million users in the U.S. Ryan Faughnder,, "Donald Trump Jr. joins TikTok rival Triller as ban on the Chinese-owned app looms," 5 Sep. 2020 Roberts said the reach to 37 schools this year was part of a natural growth trend, but the timing was good as COVID-19 has sharpened the need for mental health services. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "HGI Counseling to offer services at 37 Lamar CISD schools," 20 Aug. 2020 Their reach is such that when the president announces an otherwise not newsworthy human trafficking policy, QAnon Facebook groups help propel the news into three of the top ten spots for the day. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "QAnon Is Using the Anti-Trafficking Movement’s Conspiracy Playbook," 19 Aug. 2020 Historically, America’s young people have been less engaged in voting compared with their elders, but the massive reach of social media has been a game changer. Nicole Girten And Henry Ren, USA TODAY, "Trump wants to force a ban or sale of TikTok. Here is what political activists on the platform are saying.," 14 Aug. 2020 And while her name might not be recognizable to the casual music consumer, Jones’ reach is long. Cate Young, Glamour, "Music Exec Juliette Jones on Amplifying Other Women—and Getting Your Money," 10 Aug. 2020 That global reach has been a big part of that success. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "South Mountain CC men's golf team wins NJCAA Division II academic national title," 30 July 2020 The exceptional reach of the tremors is due to what lies beneath the bustling metropolis: sediment. National Geographic, "Why the Oaxaca earthquake made buildings sway hundreds of miles away," 23 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reach

Time Traveler for reach

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for reach

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reach


How to pronounce reach (audio)

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.

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reach

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!