- the members of an armed service apart from its officers; enlisted personnel.
- military enlisted personnel as a group.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
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Idioms for rank
- to leave an assigned position in a military formation.
- to disagree with, defect from, or refuse to support one's colleagues, party, or the like.
Origin of rank1
OTHER WORDS FROM rankrankless, adjectiveun·ranked, adjective
Words nearby rank
Definition for rank (2 of 3)
adjective, rank·er, rank·est.
Origin of rank2
synonym study for rank
OTHER WORDS FROM rankrankish, adjectiverankly, adverbrankness, noun
Definition for rank (3 of 3)
What does rank mean?
Rank most commonly refers to the position or status that has been assigned to someone or something to distinguish it from others in a group.
In certain organizations, especially the military, rank refers to someone’s official position in a hierarchy—an organizational structure in which people have increasing levels of authority based on their rank. For example, in the military, the lowest rank may be private, and the highest rank may be general.
The word can also be used to refer to less official positions or statuses (ones that have not been assigned but exist based on other factors), such as a person’s status within society. Rank can also be used collectively to refer to all of the people within a group with the same status.
As a verb, rank most commonly means to assign something a status or position to distinguish it from others in a group, as in Please rank the top five candidates in order from best to worst. It can also mean to have a particular rank or position, as in She ranks above all the other executives.
The verb rank is sometimes used in overlapping ways with the verb rate, but rate most commonly means to assign something a value or rating independently of other things, whereas rank typically means to determine the position of something compared to other things.
Unrelatedly, rank can also be used as an adjective meaning offensively strong, especially in smell or taste, as in There’s a rank odor coming from the trash can.
Rank is a very common word and has many other specific meanings as a noun, verb, and adjective.
Where does rank come from?
The first records of the word rank as an adjective come from before 1000. It comes from the Old English ranc, meaning “bold, proud, mature, showy.” The noun and verb senses of rank came later and have a different origin—the Old French ranc, meaning “row” or “line.”
The word rank can refer to a group of soldiers standing in a formation of rows. To break ranks is to leave one’s position in this formation, or, in a figurative sense, to disagree with or refuse to support one’s fellow members.
Used by itself, the plural form ranks refers collectively to the general members of an organization apart from its officers or leaders. The term rank and file refers to the same thing.
Most of the time, rank indicates authority or power. Generally, the higher your rank, the more power you have in a society or chain of command. To pull rank is to use your authority to make others comply.
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What are some other forms related to rank?
- ranked (past tense verb, adjective)
- ranking (continuous tense verb, noun, adjective)
What are some synonyms for rank?
What are some words that share a root or word element with rank?
What are some words that often get used in discussing rank?
What are some words rank may be commonly confused with?
How is rank used in real life?
Rank is a very common word that can be used in many different contexts. Most of its uses deal with the position of someone or something in relation to others.
Moments ago, Maj. Gen. Scott Spellmon was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. The Change of Command ceremony for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is underway: https://t.co/czEuyXyZnX pic.twitter.com/4jq62oqLty
— USACE HQ (@USACEHQ) September 10, 2020
Alisson? Ederson? Schmeichel? 🤔
Who is the Premier League's greatest goalkeeper?
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 1, 2020
Woolacombe beach in North Devon has been named 20 in TripAdvisor’s top 25 beaches in the world – in this year’s list, Woolacombe ranks higher than all of Cornwall’s beaches & all of Australia’s as well as being the highest ranking English beach https://t.co/drcsbVx3tX #visitdevon
— Visit Devon (@VisitDevon) September 9, 2020
Try using rank!
Is rank used correctly in the following sentence?
Many students work to improve their class rank based on their grades, but extracurricular activities should also be a priority.
Example sentences from the Web for rank
As of the time of this writing, the Core Web Vitals seems to be the most important ranking news to come out in 2020 in practical terms.Google ranking factors to change search in 2021: Core Web Vitals, E-A-T, or AMP?|Aleh Barysevich|September 16, 2020|Search Engine Watch
The post Keywords in generic top-level domains won’t help you rank better appeared first on Search Engine Land.Keywords in generic top-level domains won’t help you rank better|George Nguyen|September 15, 2020|Search Engine Land
Most have very little weight in SEO and are often used as tie-breakers rather than ranking signals.
Even 13 million climate migrants, though, would rank as the largest migration in North American history.Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration|by Abrahm Lustgarten, photography by Meridith Kohut|September 15, 2020|ProPublica
Meredith — publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, Allrecipes and Southern Living — is ranked number two on License Global’s list, just behind The Walt Disney Company.‘Finding their sweet spot’: How publishers are quickly becoming large global licensors|Kayleigh Barber|September 14, 2020|Digiday
Absolutely: “Courage I would rank now in the hierarchy of art and love.”Mailer’s Letters Pack a Punch and a Surprising Degree of Sweetness|Ronald K. Fried|December 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Neary had held the rank of lieutenant since 1983 and received multiple commendations during nearly four decades on the job.
Only five African-American females hold a rank higher than GS-14 within the Secret Service.It’s Not Just the Cops—Racism Is a Problem for the Secret Service, Too|Bill Conroy|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Asked what kind of support he got from rank-and-file Democrats, he paused before replying with a hearty laugh.Repubs Should Take It From Kucinich: Impeachment Isn’t Worth It|Eleanor Clift|December 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I was of extremely low rank, a Senior Aircraftman – only one rung above the bottom.
He distinguished himself in several campaigns, especially in the Peninsular war, and was raised to the rank of field marshal.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell
The high rank, the great riches of his father he rather implied than definitely mentioned.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens
As each company front formed the knees of the rank and file seemed to give way.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
It was commenced in 1883, from a philanthropic feeling, but must rank among trade societies as much as many others.Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham|Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
If Wee Willie Winkie took an interest in anyone, the fortunate man was envied alike by the mess and the rank and file.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II|Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for rank (1 of 3)
Word Origin for rank
British Dictionary definitions for rank (2 of 3)
Derived forms of rankrankly, adverbrankness, noun
Word Origin for rank
British Dictionary definitions for rank (3 of 3)
Idioms and Phrases with rank
In addition to the idiom beginning with rank
- rank and file
- break ranks
- close ranks
- pull rank
- rise through the ranks