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 rankness
The tongue of the idle often setteth a world on fire; for scandal and gossip vegetate to rankness in the garden of sloth.The Young Maiden|A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
The rapidity and rankness of vegetable growth renders the region unsuited to agriculture.
Their flesh has no rankness, nor is inferiour in flavour to our common venison.A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland|Samuel Johnson
Owing to the rankness of its food, the smell of the Fulmar is very offensive.British Birds in their Haunts|Rev. C. A. Johns
They seem not to mind its rankness, for the fruit is all taken by the time it has turned black-ripe.Trees Every Child Should Know|Julia Ellen Rogers
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