\ 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 To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at or 602-316-8827. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 12 June 2021 Montgomery, a can't-miss basketball prospect turned potential first-round pick in next month's MLB draft is looking to reach his third-straight state championship game. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 12 June 2021 The Alabama Education Lab is a new project from to explore solutions in K-12 education in Alabama that can help all children in the state reach their goals. Ruth Serven Smith |, al, 12 June 2021 The City of Milwaukee and attorneys for former Police Chief Alfonso Morales are entering into mediation as the weeks are waning to reach a settlement. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 June 2021 Herrera flipped his bat and hesitated to watch the ball before running to first and missed an opportunity to reach third when right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. fumbled the ball. Rob Maaddi, ajc, 11 June 2021 The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas edged sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, earlier Friday to reach his first Grand Slam final., 11 June 2021 Employees also climbed over metal railings to reach the power supply boxes since the ride had no other entrance access to them, OSHA said in the records. Gabrielle Russon,, 11 June 2021 North Broward Prep excelled in close games, winning five straight one-run games to reach the state title game. Adam Lichtenstein,, 11 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During a medical timeout, a trainer taped that leg while Pavlyuchenkova was on a towel, a bag of candy within reach. Samuel Petrequin,, 12 June 2021 In January, Allstate closed on its $4 billion acquisition of National General Holdings Corp., expanding its reach in the personal-property-liability business and adding relationships with more than 42,000 independent agents across the U.S. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, 26 May 2021 In the future, May hopes to loop in braiders who will have first access to wholesale prices, thus expanding the brand's reach. Ruth Samuel, Allure, 24 May 2021 After years of scoring hit after hit in South Korea and experiencing the beginnings of international stardom, the band is spending much of 2021 expanding their reach in different ways. Hugh Mcintyre, Forbes, 24 May 2021 Lately the larger force had been expanding its reach across northern Nigeria and into Cameroon, said Yan St-Pierre, a counterterrorism adviser and head of the Modern Security Consulting Group in Berlin. Washington Post, 21 May 2021 China is slowly, but surely expanding the reach of its naval forces. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 11 May 2021 Perhaps Bergstrom is expanding its reach to the East Coast? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2021 Murray said the financing will be spent in part on talent acquisition and expanding its reach, including staging fights outside the U.S. Dan Gelston, Star Tribune, 22 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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 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

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


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