Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “rank”

rank

noun uk   /ræŋk/ us  

rank noun (POSITION)

C1 [C or U] a position in an organization, such as the army, showing the importance of the person having it: senior/high/junior/low rank He has just been promoted to the rank of captain. Ministers of cabinet rank receive a higher salary than other ministers. Having a large income is one of the advantages of rank (= high position). [C or U] a particular position, higher or lower than others: He's in the front/first rank of (= one of the best) international tennis players. Consumer preferences were placed in rank order from 1 to 5. ranks [plural] the members of a group or organization: Party ranks have swelled by nearly 300,000. Marty has joined the ranks of the (= become) unemployed. The party leadership seems to be losing support in the ranks. rise from/through the ranks to be moved up from a low level position in an organization to a higher one: He rose through the ranks to become a general. He joined the company in 2008 and has been rising through the ranks ever since.

rank noun (ROW)

[C] a row, especially of people or things standing side by side: The front rank of the riot squad raised their shields.literary We could see nothing for miles but serried ranks (= many close rows) of fir trees. [C] a place where taxis wait for passengers: There were no taxis at the taxi/cab rank.

rank

adjective uk   /ræŋk/ us  

rank adjective (EXTREME)

[before noun] (especially of something bad) complete or extreme: It was rank stupidity to drive so fast on an icy road. The horse that won the race was a rank outsider.

rank adjective (GROWN)

describes plants that grow too fast or too thickly, or an area covered by these: The abandoned garden was rank with weeds.

rank adjective (SMELL)

smelling strong and unpleasant: His clothes were rank with sweat.

rank

verb [I or T, usually + adv/prep] uk   /ræŋk/ us  
C1 to have a position higher or lower than others, or to be considered to have such a position: A captain ranks (= has a position) above a lieutenant. My entry was ranked third in the flower show. She ranked the bottles in order of size along the shelf. In my opinion, he ranks among the theatre's greatest actors. 2012 must rank as (= be) the most difficult year for Europe since the 30s.
(Definition of rank from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of rank?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “rank” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

mutant

an organism that is different from others of its type because of a permanent change in its genes

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More