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verb (used with object)
  1. to place in proper or desired order; marshal: Napoleon arrayed his troops for battle.
  2. to clothe with garments, especially of an ornamental kind; dress up; deck out: She arrayed herself in furs and diamonds.
  1. order or arrangement, as of troops drawn up for battle.
  2. military force, especially a body of troops.
  3. a large and impressive grouping or organization of things: He couldn't dismiss the array of facts.
  4. regular order or arrangement; series: an array of figures.
  5. a large group, number, or quantity of people or things: an impressive array of scholars; an imposing array of books.
  6. attire; dress: in fine array.
  7. an arrangement of interrelated objects or items of equipment for accomplishing a particular task: thousands of solar cells in one vast array.
  8. 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.
  9. Computers. a block of related data elements, each of which is usually identified by one or more subscripts.
  10. 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 formsar·ray·er, nounun·ar·rayed, adjectivewell-ar·rayed, adjective

Synonyms for array

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for array


  1. an impressive display or collection
  2. an orderly or regular arrangement, esp of troops in battle order
  3. poetic rich clothing; apparel
  4. maths a sequence of numbers or symbols in a specified order
  5. maths a set of numbers or symbols arranged in rows and columns, as in a determinant or matrix
  6. electronics an arrangement of aerials spaced to give desired directional characteristics, used esp in radar
  7. law a panel of jurors
  8. the arming of military forces
  9. 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 (tr)
  1. to dress in rich attire; adorn
  2. to arrange in order (esp troops for battle); marshal
  3. law to draw up (a panel of jurors)
Derived Formsarrayal, noun

Word Origin for array

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

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

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.