adjective, rank·er, rank·est.
Origin of rank2
Synonyms for rank
Related Words for rankestnoxious, putrid, musty, blatant, crass, status, division, family, level, hierarchy, slot, grade, reputation, stature, position, class, group, regard, list, rate
Examples from the Web for rankest
Historical Examples of rankest
He's the rankest performer I ever saw; he can sing a little and that lets him out.Watch Yourself Go By
Al. G. Field
This is the rankest instance of a pre-judged case I've ever seen.Lone Star Planet
Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire
Here was the flora of the tropics in its rankest and most prodigal growth.Cabbages and Kings
The rankest compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril.Familiar Quotations
The rankest idealism seemed for a time the order of the day.Modernities
Horace Barnett Samuel
Word Origin for rank
Word Origin for rank
early 14c., "row, line series;" c.1400, a row of an army, from Old French renc, ranc "row, line" (Modern French rang), from Frankish *hring or some other Germanic source (cf. Old High German hring "circle, ring"), from Proto-Germanic *khrengaz "circle, ring" (see ring (n.1)).
Meaning "a social division, class of persons" is from early 15c. Meaning "high station in society" is from early 15c. Meaning "a relative position" is from c.1600.
Old English ranc "proud, overbearing, showy," from Proto-Germanic *rankaz (cf. Danish rank "right, upright," German rank "slender," Old Norse rakkr "straight, erect"), perhaps from PIE *reg- "to stretch, straighten" (see right (adj.)). In reference to plant growth, "vigorous, luxuriant, abundant, copious" it is recorded from c.1300. Related: Rankly; rankness.
Sense evolved in Middle English to "large and coarse" (c.1300), then, via notion of "excessive and unpleasant," to "corrupt, loathsome, foul" (mid-14c.), perhaps from influence of Middle French rance "rancid." In 17c. also "lewd, lustful."
Much used 16c. as a pejorative intensive (cf. rank folly). This is possibly the source of the verb meaning "to reveal another's guilt" (1929, underworld slang), and that of "to harass, abuse," 1934, U.S. black dialect, though this also may be from the role of the activity in establishing social hierarchy (from rank (n.)).
1570s, "arrange in lines;" 1590s, "put in order, classify; assign a rank to," from rank (n.). Related: Ranked; ranking.
In addition to the idiom beginning with rank
- rank and file
- break ranks
- close ranks
- pull rank
- rise through the ranks