adjective, rank·er, rank·est.
- ranikhet disease,
- ranine artery,
- ranjit singh,
- rank and file,
- rank scale,
- rank, otto,
Origin of rank2
Examples from the Web for rankly
I got down on my knees and, parting the grass which grew there rankly, I put my face in against the iron bars that closed it.Vanished towers and chimes of Flanders|George Wharton Edwards
Putrid fish have a charm for other species, and dead snakes, when rankly high, will attract still others.The Butterfly Book|William Jacob Holland
And rankly as ever trees and flowers did the wild human passions spring up again in their breasts.Tales From Jkai|Mr Jkai
For several hundred yards the ground of this flat was rankly spongy, with an oozy surface.The Twins of Suffering Creek|Ridgwell Cullum
The inquisitors felt themselves to be above the law and all the old abuses continued to flourish as rankly as ever.A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 1|Henry Charles Lea
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