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[uh-rey] /əˈreɪ/
verb (used with object)
to place in proper or desired order; marshal:
Napoleon arrayed his troops for battle.
to clothe with garments, especially of an ornamental kind; dress up; deck out:
She arrayed herself in furs and diamonds.
order or arrangement, as of troops drawn up for battle.
military force, especially a body of troops.
a large and impressive grouping or organization of things:
He couldn't dismiss the array of facts.
regular order or arrangement; series:
an array of figures.
a large group, number, or quantity of people or things:
an impressive array of scholars; an imposing array of books.
attire; dress:
in fine array.
an arrangement of interrelated objects or items of equipment for accomplishing a particular task:
thousands of solar cells in one vast array.
Mathematics, Statistics.
  1. an arrangement of a series of terms according to value, as from largest to smallest.
  2. an arrangement of a series of terms in some geometric pattern, as in a matrix.
Computers. a block of related data elements, each of which is usually identified by one or more subscripts.
Radio. antenna array.
Origin of array
1250-1300; Middle English arrayen < Anglo-French arayer, Old French are(y)er < Germanic; compare Old English ārǣdan to prepare, equivalent to ā- a-3 + ræde ready
Related forms
arrayer, noun
unarrayed, adjective
well-arrayed, adjective
1. arrange, range, order, dispose. 2. apparel, dress, attire; ornament, adorn, decorate. 3. disposition. 5. show, exhibit, exhibition. 8. raiment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for array


an impressive display or collection
an orderly or regular arrangement, esp of troops in battle order
(poetic) rich clothing; apparel
(maths) a sequence of numbers or symbols in a specified order
(maths) a set of numbers or symbols arranged in rows and columns, as in a determinant or matrix
(electronics) an arrangement of aerials spaced to give desired directional characteristics, used esp in radar
(law) a panel of jurors
the arming of military forces
(computing) a regular data structure in which individual elements may be located by reference to one or more integer index variables, the number of such indices being the number of dimensions in the array
verb (transitive)
to dress in rich attire; adorn
to arrange in order (esp troops for battle); marshal
(law) to draw up (a panel of jurors)
Derived Forms
arrayal, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French aroi arrangement, from arayer to arrange, of Germanic origin; compare Old English arǣdan to make ready
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for array

early 14c., from stem of Old French areer "to put in order," from Vulgar Latin *ar-redare (source of Italian arredare), from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + Frankish *ræd- "ready" or some cognate Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *raidjan "to place in order" (cf. Gothic garadis, Old English geræde "ready;" see ready (adj.)). Related: Arrayed; arraying.


mid-14c., "order, arrangement," from Anglo-French arrai, Old French aroi, from areer (see array (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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array in Science
  1. Mathematics A rectangular arrangement of quantities in rows and columns, as in a matrix.

  2. Numerical data ordered in a linear fashion, by magnitude.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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array in Technology

1. A collection of identically typed data items distinguished by their indices (or "subscripts"). The number of dimensions an array can have depends on the language but is usually unlimited.
An array is a kind of aggregate data type. A single ordinary variable (a "scalar") could be considered as a zero-dimensional array. A one-dimensional array is also known as a "vector".
A reference to an array element is written something like A[i,j,k] where A is the array name and i, j and k are the indices. The C language is peculiar in that each index is written in separate brackets, e.g. A[i][j][k]. This expresses the fact that, in C, an N-dimensional array is actually a vector, each of whose elements is an N-1 dimensional array.
Elements of an array are usually stored contiguously. Languages differ as to whether the leftmost or rightmost index varies most rapidly, i.e. whether each row is stored contiguously or each column (for a 2D array).
Arrays are appropriate for storing data which must be accessed in an unpredictable order, in contrast to lists which are best when accessed sequentially. Array indices are integers, usually natural numbers, whereas the elements of an associative array are identified by strings.
2. A processor array, not to be confused with an array processor.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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