\ 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

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 Cave divers made the discovery hundreds of feet into an underwater cave, at some points squeezing themselves through tiny crevices to reach the find. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Divers uncover mysteries of earliest inhabitants of Americas deep inside Yucatan caves," 4 July 2020 While the decision was announced last week, a full list was not published in hopes that the four home nations would reach an agreement on the matter. Fox News, "Britain places US travelers on quarantine 'red list'," 4 July 2020 Germany this week took over the rotating EU presidency for six months, giving it a key role in trying to reach a deal on the recovery fund. Washington Post, "Poland wants generous EU budget for Central Europe," 3 July 2020 Temperatures in southeastern Wisconsin are expected to reach the low 90s through most of next week, too. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Get ready for a heat wave over the Fourth of July weekend," 3 July 2020 Levin was recently able to reach an agreement to reacquire the furniture company brand out of bankruptcy. cleveland, "Lorain County Metro Parks offers virtual races: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 3 July 2020 Cruise had only just begun to reach the peak of his powers. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Celebrate Tom Cruise’s birthday with his 10 best movies," 3 July 2020 Cypriot discus thrower Apostolos Parellis focus on speed, technique and determination to reach elite status. oregonlive, "Pete Julian says he will turn loose his elite, Nike-sponsored runners soon: Oregon track & field rundown," 3 July 2020 The Jashen is also incredibly light and has gymnast-level flexibility, able to easily contour to fit underneath furniture and around table legs to reach spots other vacuums wouldn’t come close to hitting. Scott Simone, CNN Underscored, "The Jashen V16 vacuum is Dyson-like in power at half the price," 3 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In Africa, Buruli ulcer was likewise relatively limited in its reach until European powers arrived. Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem," 3 July 2020 The virus has broadened its reach from impacting older Americans primarily to younger people ages 18-49. Bill George, Fortune, "A 7-point plan to slow COVID-19 and restart the economy," 2 July 2020 Its reach includes conservative activist and musician Ted Nugent. Nick Coltrain, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Charles Krauthammer did not accuse Obama of forming 'shadow government'," 30 June 2020 Several creators told Quartz that their reach via TikTok is unparalleled. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "India’s TikTok stars can survive the ban—if they diversify," 30 June 2020 Sales of new collateralized-loan obligations, or CLOs, have rebounded sharply over the past six weeks as debt investors resume their reach for higher-yielding, riskier debt. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Deals Resume in Sale of Risky Loan Funds," 29 June 2020 But the company does more than make happy bellies across its four-state reach. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Anderson-Dubose Co. throws prom-like banquet: Top Workplaces 2020 first-place winner," 28 June 2020 Many Hong Kongers once again feared that Beijing was extending its reach into the city's independent judicial system. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "China is about to pass a controversial national security law in Hong Kong. Here's what you need to know," 25 June 2020 The situation itself can feel like a trap: If the slur was not in the headline, then its reach to potential readers would have been diminished by the cold algorithms that determine these kinds of things. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Stop Printing the R-Word," 25 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.

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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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 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.

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

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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