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rank 1 (răngk)
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n.
1.
a. A relative position in a society.
b. An official position or grade: the rank of sergeant.
c. A relative position or degree of value in a graded group.
d. High or eminent station or position: persons of rank.
2. A row, line, series, or range.
3.
a. A line of soldiers, vehicles, or equipment standing side by side in close order.
b. ranks The armed forces.
c. ranks Personnel, especially enlisted military personnel.
4. ranks A body of people classed together; numbers: joined the ranks of the unemployed.
5. Games Any of the rows of squares running crosswise to the files on a playing board in chess or checkers.
v. ranked, rank·ing, ranks
v.tr.
1. To place in a row or rows.
2. To give a particular order or position to; classify.
3. To outrank or take precedence over.
v.intr.
1. To hold a particular rank: ranked first in the class.
2. To form or stand in a row or rows.
3. Slang
a. To complain.
b. To engage in carping criticism. Often used with on: Stop ranking on me all the time.
Idiom:
pull rank
To use one's superior rank to gain an advantage.

[Middle English, line, row, from Old French ranc, renc, of Germanic origin; see sker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
rank 2 (răngk)
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adj. rank·er, rank·est
1. Growing profusely or with excessive vigor: rank vegetation.
2. Yielding a profuse, often excessive crop; highly fertile: rank earth.
3. Strong and offensive in odor or flavor: rank gym clothes.
4. Absolute; complete: a rank amateur; rank treachery. See Synonyms at flagrant.

[Middle English ranc, from Old English, strong, overbearing; see reg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

rankly adv.
rankness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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