View synonyms for reach


[ reech ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to get to or get as far as in moving, going, traveling, etc.:

    The boat reached the shore.

    Synonyms: attain

  2. to come to or arrive at in some course of progress, action, etc.:

    Your letter never reached me.

  3. to succeed in touching or seizing with an outstretched hand, a pole, etc.:

    to reach a book on a high shelf.

  4. to stretch or hold out; extend:

    reaching out a hand in greeting.

  5. to stretch or extend so as to touch or meet:

    The bookcase reaches the ceiling.

  6. to establish communication with:

    I called but couldn't reach you.

  7. to amount to, as in the sum or total:

    The cost will reach millions.

  8. to penetrate to:

    distant stars the eye cannot reach.

  9. to succeed in striking or hitting, as with a weapon or missile:

    The artillery fire reached the shore.

  10. to succeed in making contact with, influencing, impressing, interesting, convincing, etc.:

    a program that reached a large teenage audience.

verb (used without object)

  1. to make a stretch, as with the hand or arm.
  2. to become outstretched, as the hand or arm.
  3. to make a movement or effort as if to touch or seize something:

    to reach for a weapon.

  4. to extend in operation or effect:

    power that reaches throughout the land.

  5. to stretch in space; extend in direction, length, distance, etc.:

    a coat reaching to the knee;

    a tower reaching to the skies.

  6. to extend or continue in time.
  7. to get or come to a specified place, person, condition, etc. (often followed by to ).
  8. to amount (often followed by to ):

    sums reaching to a considerable total.

  9. to penetrate:

    Fields of flowers extended as far as the eye could reach.

  10. to assert or agree without certainty or sufficient evidence; infer hastily:

    I'd be reaching if I said I had the answer to your question.

  11. Nautical.
    1. to sail on a reach.
    2. to sail with the wind forward of the beam but so as not to require sailing close-hauled.


  1. an act or instance of reaching:

    to make a reach for a gun.

  2. the extent or distance of reaching:

    within reach of his voice.

  3. range of effective action, power, or capacity.

    Synonyms: scope, sphere, area

  4. a continuous stretch or extent of something:

    a reach of woodland.

  5. Also called pound. a level portion of a canal, between locks.
  6. Nautical. a point of sailing in which the wind is within a few points of the beam, either forward of the beam close reach, directly abeam beam reach, or abaft the beam broad reach.
  7. the pole connecting the rear axle of a wagon to the transverse bar or bolster over the front axle supporting the wagon bed.
  8. a straight portion of a river between two bends.


/ riːtʃ /


  1. tr to arrive at or get to (a place, person, etc) in the course of movement or action

    to reach the office

  2. to extend as far as (a point or place)

    can you reach?

    to reach the ceiling

  3. tr to come to (a certain condition, stage, or situation)

    to reach the point of starvation

  4. intr to extend in influence or operation

    the Roman conquest reached throughout England

  5. informal.
    tr to pass or give (something to a person) with the outstretched hand

    to reach someone a book

  6. intr; foll by out, for, or after to make a movement (towards), as if to grasp or touch

    to reach for something on a shelf

  7. intr; foll by for or after to strive or yearn

    to reach for the impossible

  8. tr to make contact or communication with (someone)

    we tried to reach him all day

  9. tr to strike, esp in fencing or boxing
  10. tr to amount to (a certain sum)

    to reach the five million mark

  11. intr nautical to sail on a tack with the wind on or near abeam


  1. the act of reaching
  2. the extent or distance of reaching

    within reach of safety

    beyond her reach

  3. the range of influence, power, jurisdiction, etc
  4. an open stretch of water, esp on a river
  5. nautical the direction or distance sailed by a vessel on one tack
  6. a bar on the rear axle of a vehicle connecting it with some part at the front end
  7. television radio the percentage of the population selecting a broadcast programme or channel for more than a specified time during a day or week
  8. marketing the proportion of a market that an advertiser hopes to reach at least once in a campaign

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Derived Forms

  • ˈreacher, noun
  • ˈreachable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • reacha·ble adjective
  • reacha·bili·ty noun
  • reacher noun
  • un·reacha·ble adjective
  • un·reached adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of reach1

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb rechen, Old English rǣcan (cognate with German reichen, Dutch reiken ); noun derivative of the verb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of reach1

Old English rǣcan ; related to Old Frisian rēka , Old High German reihhen

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Idioms and Phrases

In addition to the idiom beginning with reach , also see boardinghouse reach ; get to (reach) first base ; in reach .

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Synonym Study

See grasp.

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Example Sentences

Going virtual translates into a global reach making this our largest Disrupt ever.

I swooped my arm in a fluid motion the moment I was within reach, scooping the bird up by its extended legs.

However, if you don’t have that, you can follow these SEO tips we are giving in this article to boost your reach and sales.

Some of those advertisers see Channel 4’s inventory as a way to reach more people who are watching the same TV at the same time, while others see it as a way to extend the reach of larger campaigns.

From Digiday

Sports is still a hard-to-reach audience, but the audience is still there.

From Digiday

The first thing they told us was that the traffickers are now using Turkish ports, which are relatively easy to reach from Syria.

Or (horrors) he could reach out to congressional leaders in both parties to pursue bipartisan legislation.

He seemed to get a little turned around on the way but managed to reach what might have been presumed to be his destination.

Do we critique those women who would modify themselves just to reach those standards?

As a well-known advocate for Baluch rights in Iran, young Iranians reach out to him for advice.

That which is called nasality is caused by the failure of the tone to reach freely the anterior cavities of the nares.

It is to be remembered, however, that a few of these bacteria may reach the sputum from the upper air-passages.

They will reach you by the hands of Mr. Mackenzie, a worldly-minded Scotch merchant, but honest as to earthly things.

There is always in the background of my mind dread lest help should reach the enemy before we have done with Sedd-el-Bahr.

He thus decoyed them away, and the fortunate couple were enabled to reach the British lines under cover of the darkness.


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More About Reach

What is a basic definition of reach?

Reach means to arrive at, to extend, or to touch by stretching toward something. Reach has many other senses as a verb and a noun.

If you reach somewhere, you successfully arrive there. If you reached the bank by noon, for example, you managed to get to the bank by noon. The word reach often implies lengthy travel or that the journey had some challenges along the way. Reach can also be used figuratively to mean someone achieved a position or got to a certain state. For example, a child reaches adulthood when they turn 18.

  • Real-life examples: The sun’s rays reach the Earth after traveling through space. Baby turtles must navigate the dangers of the beach before they reach the water. Students may need to run quickly to reach the school bus before it leaves.
  • Used in a sentence: Lana reached a dark point in her life where nothing seemed to matter. 

Reach can also mean to extend or to stretch out. This sense is often followed with the direction something is being extended into.

  • Real-life examples: Plants reach toward the sky to gather more sunlight. You reach your hand out in order to give someone a handshake. A cat’s fur will reach up when they are scared.
  • Used in a sentence: The police ordered the criminal to reach his hands into the air. 

Lastly, reach means to successfully touch something, especially by stretching out a limb or object.

  • Real-life examples: You might need a ladder in order to reach something stuck on your roof. Giraffes have long necks that make it easy for them to reach leaves high in the trees. Grocery stores put sugary snacks on lower shelves so that children can reach them.
  • Used in a sentence: Erin was too short to reach the cereal on the top shelf.

Where does reach come from?

The first records of reach come from before the 900s. It comes from the Old English verb rǣcan and is related to other words with the same meaning, such as the German reichen or the Dutch reiken.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to reach?

  • reacher (noun)
  • reachable (adjective)
  • reachability (noun)
  • unreachable (adjective)
  • unreached (adjective)

What are some synonyms for reach?

What are some words that share a root or word element with reach

What are some words that often get used in discussing reach?

How is reach used in real life?

Reach is a common word that most often means to arrive somewhere or to stretch out.

Try using reach!

Is reach used correctly in the following sentence?

I reached my arm across the table to grab some chips out of the bowl on the far side.

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




REAreach for the sky