v. reached, reach·ing, reach·es
1. To stretch out or put forth (a body part); extend: reached out an arm.
2. To touch or grasp by stretching out or extending: can't reach the shelf.
3. To arrive at; attain: reached their destination; reached a conclusion.
a. To succeed in getting in contact with or communicating with: They reached us by phone. Our newsletter reaches a specialized readership.
b. To succeed in having an effect on: No one seems able to reach her anymore.
a. To extend as far as: The property reaches the shore.
b. To project as far as: A distant cry reached our ears.
c. To travel as far as: a long fly ball that reached the stadium's wall.
6. To aggregate or amount to: Sales reached the millions.
7. Informal To grasp and hand over to another: Reach me the sugar.
1. To extend or move a hand, arm, or other body part, especially when trying to touch or grasp something: reached for a book; reach into a pocket.
a. To have extension in space or time: a coat that reaches to the knee; a career that reached over several decades.
b. To have an influence or effect: a philosophy that reaches into many disciplines.
c. To make an effort to address the needs of a group or community. Often used with out: a program to reach out to disengaged youth.
3. Nautical To sail with the wind abeam.
1. The act or an instance of stretching or thrusting out: The frog caught the insect with a sudden reach of its tongue.
2. The extent or distance something can reach: a boxer with a long reach.
a. Range of understanding; comprehension: a subject beyond my reach.
b. Range or scope of influence or effect: the reach of the transmitter. See Synonyms at range.
4. often reaches
a. An expanse of land or water, such as a stretch of water visible between bends in a river or channel.
b. A rank or level in a social group or organization: the lower reaches of society.
5. A pole connecting the rear axle of a vehicle with the front.
6. Nautical The tack of a sailing vessel with the wind abeam.
[Middle English rechen, from Old English rǣcan; see reig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.