\ 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 China’s coal consumption will reach a new record this year, the International Energy Agency projected this week, and the country alone will drive more than 50% of global coal growth in 2021. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Top Republican accuses Biden of 'dictatorship' for climate pledge," 24 Apr. 2021 The Indonesian navy expects their warship, the Riguel, to reach the search area Friday morning local time, Riad added. Masrur Jamaluddin, CNN, "Indonesian navy detects object during search for missing submarine," 23 Apr. 2021 Will Smith followed with a flyball that landed down the left-field line, just beyond a diving Jurickson Profar’s reach. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Former USC Song Girls describe a toxic culture," 23 Apr. 2021 Vaccine doses that were sent to rural areas at the beginning of the state’s immunization campaign often didn’t reach locals, state data shows. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Jill Biden, Gay Men’s Chorus, eel fishery: News from around our 50 states," 23 Apr. 2021 When readers reach the Black boy's house, they're taken to his father who is playing chess. Joshua Q. Nelson, Fox News, "NY school district slammed over book about racial bias of police: 'I was actually shocked'," 23 Apr. 2021 The result is a safer hob that spews fewer pollutants, uses less energy and allows food to reach higher temperatures faster than your old stove. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, "Why New Induction Cooktops Are Safer and Faster Than Gas or Electric," 22 Apr. 2021 In his opening remarks, Mr. Biden said the U.S. can reach the emissions target through his jobs plan — a $3 trillion infrastructure package meant to revitalize the nation's energy grid and create a net-zero economy. Cara Korte, CBS News, "Biden announces goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half," 22 Apr. 2021 Plus, in places with extreme daytime heat, where temperatures can reach 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius), the warp of fine cotton and silk can break on the loom. Sneha Mehta, Vogue, "Dressing for a Hotter Planet: In India, Designers Honor the Natural Sustainability of Artisan Crafts," 22 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In an interview, Mr. Lee said Carlyle’s strengths are its investment performance, global reach and culture. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Carlyle CEO Kewsong Lee Plots Rebound for Private-Equity Pioneer," 25 Apr. 2021 My own fandom reflects the game’s increasingly global reach. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Audacity and Greed of the Super League," 21 Apr. 2021 These series arrive when the reach of the internet and the broad acceptance of online dating means that the unchlorinated pool of eligible mates has never been deeper. New York Times, "True Love? On TV, There’s an App for That.," 21 Apr. 2021 Patent Design Screwdriver: professional screwdriver with build-in telescopic rod for longer slender reach, 207.5mm L with the extension shaft. Maren Estrada, BGR, "This 22-in-1 screwdriver set is down to $20, and Amazon shoppers going nuts for it," 21 Apr. 2021 As if their pre-arranged date, organized by their traditional Indian parents, wasn’t uncomfortable enough, Ravi and Rita are forced to shelter in place together as COVID-19’s reach intensifies. Devon Ivie, Vulture, "Ilana Glazer and Zoe Lister-Jones Lead the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival Lineup," 20 Apr. 2021 Heritage Auctions said the jersey dated to 1958, when the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers agreed to take their rivalry to the West Coast and expand baseball’s reach across the country. Vanessa Arredondo, San Francisco Chronicle, "A jersey worn by Willie Mays during Giants' first year in S.F. is up for auction and expected to fetch $60,000," 20 Apr. 2021 Which brings up an interesting sidebar: is this yet another potential Apple monopoly play ... a global item finding network with greater reach than any other? John Koetsier, Forbes, "Apple AirTags: How Apple Is Preventing Creepers From Electronically Stalking You," 20 Apr. 2021 As if their pre-arranged date, organized by their traditional Indian parents, wasn't uncomfortable enough, Ravi and Rita are forced to shelter in place together as COVID-19's reach intensifies. Joey Nolfi,, "Anthony Bourdain documentary to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival," 20 Apr. 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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Statistics for reach

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 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.

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on reach

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reach

Nglish: Translation of reach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reach for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reach

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