\ 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 The man’s body was found just under two hours after the 911 calls came in, but swimmers weren’t immediately able to reach the body, and were forced to wait for the tides to recede before making the retrieval. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2021 To keep the warming under 1.5 degrees, the world needs to reach net zero by 2050, a landmark UN climate science report published in August showed. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 15 Sep. 2021 However, scientists have not been able to reach a conclusive answer as to when whales moved out of their point of origin to all the world’s oceans. Noha Elhennawy, ajc, 14 Sep. 2021 The firefighters were able to reach a window on the second floor of the house where the woman was gasping for air and carried her down a ladder to paramedics waiting on the ground to treat her for smoke inhalation, according to Douglas. Athena Ankrah, The Arizona Republic, 14 Sep. 2021 Biden said that extreme weather events will cost more than $100 billion in damages this year and underscored his goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050 while using solely carbon pollution-free power 15 years earlier., 14 Sep. 2021 The Cincinnati Police Department is pledging to increase recruitment of female officers to reach the goal of a force composed of 30% women by the year 2030. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2021 New York also hopes to reach that benchmark by 2045. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 13 Sep. 2021 The global security market is quickly broadening, with a 2019 valuation of nearly $43 billion that is expected to reach nearly $145 billion by 2027, according to an Allied Market Research report. Dallas News, 13 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The other is fearful about dramatically expanding Washington’s reach at an enormous cost., 17 Sep. 2021 Fifteen years on air and a roster of champions exemplify the show’s reach and popularity. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 16 Sep. 2021 The Bears drove into Rams territory on their first seven possessions, but that was only enough to keep the game within reach into the middle of the third quarter. Brad Biggs,, 16 Sep. 2021 The reach for revenue from the wealthy was even billboarded at the ultra-chic Met Gala in Manhattan Monday night. Marcy Gordon, ajc, 15 Sep. 2021 Jennifer Moroney, an expert on security cooperation who ran the Rand Corp.'s first office in Australia, said China’s expanding reach in the region has prompted new military investments there. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2021 With 49% of On's business coming from the United States, On continues to pull reach across the globe. Tim Newcomb, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 Since June, Chef Sherri Sauces’ Instagram reach has grown by over 450 percent. NBC News, 14 Sep. 2021 Tampa Bay was driving, about to put the game out of reach with a touchdown when safety Damontae Kazee forced a fumble and Jourdan Lewis recovered, giving the Cowboys the ball on their own 10-yard line. David Moore, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 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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Dictionary Entries Near reach



reach a compromise

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Statistics for reach

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 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.


transitive verb

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

Nglish: Translation of reach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reach for Arabic Speakers


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