Pronunciation Adjective

rank (comparative ranker, superlative rankest)

  1. Strong of its kind or in character; unmitigated; virulent; thorough; utter (used of negative things).
    rank treason
    rank nonsense
  2. Strong in growth; growing with vigour or rapidity, hence, coarse or gross.
    rank grass
    rank weeds
    • Bible, Book of Genesis xli. 5
      And, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
  3. Suffering from overgrowth or hypertrophy; plethoric.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, […], OCLC 1042815524 ↗, part I:
      The moon had spread over everything a thin layer of silver—over the rank grass, over the mud, upon the wall of matted vegetation standing higher than the wall of a temple {{...}
  4. Causing strong growth; producing luxuriantly; rich and fertile.
    rank land
  5. Strong to the senses; offensive; noisome.
  6. Having a very strong and bad taste or odor.
    Synonyms: stinky, smelly, pong
    Your gym clothes are rank, bro – when'd you last wash 'em?
    • Divers sea fowls taste rank of the fish on which they feed.
  7. Complete, used as an intensifier (usually negative, referring to incompetence).
    Synonyms: complete, utter
    I am a rank amateur as a wordsmith.
  8. (informal) Gross, disgusting.
  9. (obsolete) Strong; powerful; capable of acting or being used with great effect; energetic; vigorous; headstrong.
  10. (obsolete) Inflamed with venereal appetite; ruttish.
Translations Translations Adverb


  1. (obsolete) Quickly, eagerly, impetuously.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.iii:
      The seely man seeing him ryde so rancke, / And ayme at him, fell flat to ground for feare [...].
    • That rides so rank and bends his lance so fell.


  1. A row of people or things organized in a grid pattern, often soldiers [the corresponding term for the perpendicular columns in such a pattern is "file"].
    The front rank kneeled to reload while the second rank fired over their heads.
  2. (music) In a pipe organ, a set of pipes of a certain quality for which each pipe corresponds to one key or pedal.
  3. One's position in a list sorted by a shared property such as physical location, population, or quality
    Based on your test scores, you have a rank of 23.
    The fancy hotel was of the first rank.
  4. The level of one's position in a class-based society
  5. a hierarchical level in an organization such as the military
    Private First Class (PFC) is the second-lowest rank in the Marines.
    He rose up through the ranks of the company, from mailroom clerk to CEO.
  6. (taxonomy) a level in a scientific taxonomy system
    Phylum is the taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class.
  7. (linear algebra) Maximal number of linearly independent columns (or rows) of a matrix.
  8. (mathematics) The dimensionality of an array (computing) or tensor.
  9. (algebra) The maximum quantity of D-linearly independent elements of a module (over an integral domain D).
  10. (mathematics) The size of any basis of a given matroid.
  11. (chess) one of the eight horizontal lines of squares on a chessboard (i.e., those identified by a number). The analog vertical lines are the files.
  12. (typically in the plural) A category of people, such as those who share an occupation.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: rango
  • Russian: ранг
Translations Verb

rank (ranks, present participle ranking; past and past participle ranked)

  1. To place abreast, or in a line.
  2. To have a ranking.
    Their defense ranked third in the league.
  3. To assign a suitable place in a class or order; to classify.
    • Ranking all things under general and special heads.
    • Poets were ranked in the class of philosophers.
    • Heresy is ranked with idolatry and witchcraft.
  4. (US) To take rank of; to outrank.
Translations Translations Translations

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