\ 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

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Other Words from reach


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

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.

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 Cathy Kozlowicz can be reached at 262-361-9132 or Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "‘Mr. Sussex’ Fred Keller and ‘wife June’ look back on a lifetime of memories and 65 years of marriage," 12 Feb. 2020 This time around, his campaign has made a big effort to reach out to African-Americans, Latinos, and other minority groups. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The New Hampshire Results Signal a Long Nationwide Democratic Battle," 12 Feb. 2020 NBC News reached out to Bucci for comment but did not immediately hear back. NBC News, "Priest in Rhode Island says abortion worse than pedophilia, which 'doesn't kill anyone'," 12 Feb. 2020 Anyone with information is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151, or Silent Witness can be reached at 480-WITNESS. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Phoenix police seeking two suspects in armed robbery that left one shot," 11 Feb. 2020 ABC News has reached out to both McCarthy and Bynum for comment. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, "Jackson State University president resigns following arrest in prostitution sting," 11 Feb. 2020 Good Housekeeping reached out to AGT reps for clarification on the unconfirmed reports, but have yet to receive comment. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT Champions' Fans Accuse Simon Cowell of “Sabotage” Over His Comments to Marcelito Pomoy," 11 Feb. 2020 Hazzard reached out again to Wolpoff with the idea of bringing software-as-a-service scalability to the security-testing world. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "New “red team as a service” platform aims to automate hacking tests for company networks," 11 Feb. 2020 Authorities are reaching out to those who may have come into close contact with him. Washington Post, "British coronavirus ‘superspreader’ may have infected at least 11 people in three countries," 10 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And if the roster coalesces in certain ways, then despite the departures of Betts and Price, the Sox feel the playoffs remain within reach in the coming year. Alex Speier,, "Red Sox say they’re not punting on 2020, but big trade leans on long view," 10 Feb. 2020 Lower price tags have put fusion within reach of private investors, allowing ventures to sprout. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, "Fusion Startups Step In to Realize Decades-Old Clean Power Dream," 6 Feb. 2020 What move could a rival make that would put them within reach of Milwaukee? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks Podcast: Trade deadline primer! The Bucks don't look poised to make a move ... will they anyway?," 4 Feb. 2020 In fact, a top-10 finish may still be within reach. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks football recruiting: 2020 national signing day live updates," 4 Feb. 2020 In the decades ahead, powered flight finally brought the pole within reach. National Geographic, "Arctic obsession drove explorers to seek the North Pole," 24 Jan. 2020 It was chained to a tree with no food or water within reach. cleveland, "Elderly dog chained without food and water: South Euclid Police Blotter," 14 Jan. 2020 In 2017, Hilton Hotels & Resorts announced Five Feet to Fitness, a brand-wide initiative putting workout equipment within arm's reach of its guests—20,000 of whom were surveyed to determine how Hilton will elevate its in-hotel fitness amenities. Chadner Navarro, Fortune, "High-Tech Fitness Offerings Are the Newest Luxury Hotel Must-Have," 13 Jan. 2020 Prediction Chiefs 27, Chargers 17 The Chiefs have plenty to play for, with a first-round bye in the playoffs still within reach. Ken Pomponio, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs odds, picks and best bets," 27 Dec. 2019

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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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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.

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reach

Spanish Central: Translation of reach

Nglish: Translation of reach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reach for Arabic Speakers

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