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


    the rank and file

    BrE BrE//ˌræŋk ən ˈfaɪl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌræŋk ən ˈfaɪl//
    [singular + singular or plural verb]
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  1. 1the ordinary soldiers who are not officers
  2. 2the ordinary members of an organization the rank and file of the workforce rank-and-file members
  3. Word Originreferring to the “ranks” and “files” into which privates and non-commissioned officers form on parade.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: the rank and file