Definition of rank noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ræŋk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ræŋk//
    The navy
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    position in organization/army, etc.
  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the position, especially a high position, that somebody has in a particular organization, society, etc. She was not used to mixing with people of high social rank. He rose through the ranks to become managing director. Within months she was elevated to ministerial rank. Promotion will mean that I’m immediately above him in rank. see also ranking
  2. 2  [countable, uncountable] the position that somebody has in the army, navy, police, etc. He was soon promoted to the rank of captain. officers of junior/senior rank a campaign to attract more women into the military ranks officers, and other ranks (= people who are not officers) The colonel was stripped of his rank (= was given a lower position, especially as a punishment). See related entries: The navy
  3. 3the ranks [plural] the position of ordinary soldiers rather than officers He served in the ranks for most of the war. He rose from the ranks (= from being an ordinary soldier) to become a warrant officer.
  4. quality
  5. 4[singular] the degree to which somebody/something is of high quality a painter of the first rank Britain is no longer in the front rank of world powers. The findings are arranged in rank order according to performance.
  6. members of group
  7. 5the ranks [plural] the members of a particular group or organization We have a number of international players in our ranks. At 50, he was forced to join the ranks of the unemployed. There were serious divisions within the party's own ranks.
  8. line/row
  9. 6[countable] a line or row of soldiers, police, etc. standing next to each other They watched as ranks of marching infantry passed the window. They fired at random into the enemy ranks.
  10. 7[countable] a line or row of people or things massed ranks of spectators The trees grew in serried ranks (= very closely together). see also taxi rank
  11. in statistics
  12. 8[countable] (statistics) a number that gives the position of a member of a set of numbers
  13. Word Originnoun Middle English (in the sense ‘row of things’): from Old French ranc, of Germanic origin; related to ringExtra examples A CIA operative had infiltrated their ranks. Communication worked well at management level, but didn’t always make it down to the rank and file. Death and disease were thinning their ranks. Each month thousands more swell the ranks of the unemployed. He broke ranks with his fellow Republicans and opposed the war. He came up through the ranks to become a general. He held officer rank in the air force for many years. He is higher in rank than I am. He is in the first rank of designers. He never rose above the rank of lieutenant. He spent two years on the college golf team before joining the professional ranks. He was assigned the rank of Commander. He was standing in the second rank. He was stripped of his rank by a military court. More women are now filling the ranks of the medical profession. Rank upon rank of caravans filled the field. She joined the navy and held the rank of captain. She reached the rank of captain. She was promoted to the rank of colonel. The group has little influence over those outside its own ranks. The police broke ranks and started hitting people with their batons. The president moved slowly along the ranks of men. The soldiers marched in three ranks of ten. There are few women in the highest ranks of the organization. There is much disaffection among the ranks of the party. These products appeal to the growing ranks of middle-class consumers. They had served in the ranks of the Sultan’s army. When the establishment is attacked, it closes ranks. a government minister of Cabinet rank a poet who belongs in the front rank of Latin American literature all ranks in society officers of senior rank police officers below the rank of sergeant the lowest ranks of the aristocracy the serried ranks of hotel staff I gave them only my name, rank and serial number. Officers of junior rank had separate accommodation. People of every rank seemed to agree on this. She rose from the middle ranks of the civil service. She rose through the ranks to become managing director. The trees grew in serried ranks There were ranks of trestle tables piled high with food. There’s a campaign to attract more women into the military ranks. Within months he was elevated to a top rank.Idioms
    1. 1(of soldiers, police, etc.) to fail to remain in line
    2. 2(of the members of a group) to refuse to support the group or the organization of which they are members Large numbers of MPs felt compelled to break ranks over the issue.
    1. 1if a group of people close ranks, they work closely together to defend themselves, especially when they are being criticized It's not unusual for the police to close ranks when one of their officers is being investigated.
    2. 2if soldiers close ranks, they move closer together in order to defend themselves
    pull rank (on somebody)
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    to make use of your place or status in society or at work to make somebody do what you want
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rank