rank1 W3 [ræŋk] n
1¦(position in army/organization)¦
2 the ranks
3 break ranks
5 pull rank (on somebody)
7¦(social class)¦
[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: renc, reng 'line, place, row']
the position or level that someone holds in an organization, especially in the police or the army, navy etc
rank of
officers below the rank of Colonel
He held (=had) the rank of Chief Inspector.
rise to/be promoted to/attain the rank of sth
During the war Harold had risen to the rank of major.
high/senior/low/junior rank
an officer of junior rank
He was sentenced to prison and stripped of his rank (=had his rank taken from him) .
2.) the ranks
a) the people who belong to a particular organization or group
in/within ... ranks
There were splits in the party ranks on this issue.
The Democrats now face opposition from within their own ranks.
the ranks of
Most are recruited from the ranks of people who studied Latin and Greek at university.
That summer I left school and joined the ranks of (=became one of) the unemployed.
b) all the members of the army, navy etc who are not officers
He rose from the ranks to become a Field Marshal (=he became an officer after starting as an ordinary soldier) .
3.) break ranks
to behave in a way which is different from other members of a group, especially when they expect your support
break ranks with
He was the first to break ranks with Ceausescu and publicly criticise his policies.
4.) ¦(LINE)¦
a rank of people or things is a line or row of them
rank of
Silently, ranks of police edged closer to the crowds.
Everyone lines up in ranks, all facing the instructor.
rank after rank/rank upon rank
(=a lot of things or people in a row)
On the shelves were rank after rank of liquor bottles.
5.) pull rank (on sb) informal to use your authority over someone to make them do what you want, especially unfairly
You may just have to pull rank and tell them.
6.) ¦(QUALITY)¦ [singular]
the degree to which something or someone is of high quality
While none of these pictures is of the first rank (=of the highest quality) , some are of interest.
7.) ¦(SOCIAL CLASS)¦ [U and C]
someone's position in society
people of all ranks in society
He came from a family of rank (=one from a high social class) .
8.) ¦(TAXI)¦ also taxi rank
a place where taxis wait in a line to be hired
I called a taxi from the rank outside.
close ranks atclose1 (17)
rank 2
rank2 v
a) [I always + adverb/preposition, not in progressive]
to have a particular position in a list of people or things that have been put in order of quality or importance
rank as/among
Today's match ranks as one of the most exciting games that these two have ever played.
We rank among the safest countries in the world.
rank with/alongside
(=be of the same importance or quality)
Cuvier wanted to turn natural history into a science that would rank with physics and chemistry.
rank high/low
He ranked high among the pioneers of 20th century chemical technology.
b) [T]
to decide the position of someone or something on a list based on quality or importance
be ranked fourth/number one etc
Agassi was at that time ranked sixth in the world.
It is not always easy to rank the students in order of ability.
2.) [T] AmE
to have a higher rank than someone else
= ↑outrank
A general ranks a captain.
3.) [T]
to arrange objects in a line or row
There were several pairs of riding boots ranked neatly in the hall.
rank 3
rank3 adj
[: Old English; Origin: ranc]
1.) if something is rank, it has a very strong unpleasant smell
rank smell/odour
the rank odour of sweat and urine
2.) [only before noun]
used to emphasize a bad or undesirable quality
= ↑total
an example of this government's rank stupidity
They make us look like rank amateurs (=not at all good or professional) .
3.) rank plants are too thick and have spread everywhere
rank grass and weeds

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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