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Rank (comparative ranker or more rank, superlative rankest or most rank)

  1. Having a very strong and bad odor.
    Your gym clothes are rank, bro’ – when d’you last wash ’em?
  2. (informal) Gross, disgusting.
  3. Complete, used as an intensifier (usually negative, referring to incompetence).
    I am a rank amateur as a wordsmith.
    • 2011 Phil McNulty Chelsea 2 - 1 Man Utd
    Chelsea remain rank outsiders to retain their crown and they still lie 12 points adrift of United, but Ancelotti will regard this as a performance that supports his insistence that they can still have a say when the major prizes are handed out this season.



Rank (comparative more Rank, superlative most Rank)

  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 [...].


Rank (plural Ranks)
  1. position of a person, place, thing, or idea in relation to others based on a shared property such as physical location, population, or quality
    Based on your test scores, you have a rank of 23.
  2. a level in an organization such as the military
    Private First Class (PFC) is the lowest rank in the Marines.
  3. (taxonomy) a level in a scientific taxonomy system
    Phylum is the taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class.
  4. (usually plural) The lines or rows of people in an organization
    He rose up through the ranks of the company from mailroom clerk to CEO.
  5. One of the horizontal lines of squares on a chessboard
  6. (linear algebra) maximal number of linearly independent columns (or rows) of a matrix.
  7. (music) In a pipe organ, a set of pipes of a certain quality for which each pipe corresponds to one key or pedal.
  8. (computing) The dimensionality of an array.

Derived terms


Rank (third-person singular simple present Ranks, present participle Ranking, simple past and past participle Ranked)

  1. to give a person, place, thing, or idea a rank
    Their defense ranked third in the league.

Adjectives for Rank

high; foremost; crowding; honorable; illustrious; scholarly; serried (pi); unbroken; dense; poetical; bending; unwearied (pi); superior; wasting; preeminent; hostile (pi) ; distinguished; swaying (pi) ; teeming (pi); glittering (pi); myriad (pi); titled; depleted (pi); innumerable (pi); obscurest; riddled (pi); stalwart (pi); regular; inferior; extinguished; culinary; extrinsic; intermediate; exhausted (pi); shattered (pi); disordered (pi); relative; jeweled; stately; immortal; intellectual; melancholy; interminable; mournful; rightful; respective; enveloping (pi); princely; gathering (pi); delicate; swelling (pi); fastfalling (pi); equal; riven (pi); reeling (pi).

Verbs for Rank

accredit—; achieve—; acquire—; ascend to —; aspire to—; assign to—; break—s; de¬note—; desert—s; divest of—; earn—; eject from—s; elevate to—; forfeit—; honor—; praise—s; promote to—; reduce to—s; re¬spect—; scatter—; shatter—s; signal—s; solidify—s; split—s; swell—s; win—; — dignifies; —eclipses; —glorifies; —out¬shines; —surpasses; —transcends.

Adverbs for Rank

deservedly; poetically; obscurely; relatively; intellectually; rightfully; aristocratically; humbly.


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Etymology 1

From Old English ranc, from Proto-Germanic *rankaz.

Etymology 2

Middle English rank (line, row) from Old French reng, rang, ranc (line, row, rank) (Modern French rang), of Germanic origin, from Frankish hring (ring) from Proto-Germanic *hringaz (something bent or curved), which is of uncertain origin.

Akin to Old High German (h)ring, Old Frisian hring, Old English hring, hrincg (ring) (Modern English ring), Old Norse hringr (ring, circle, queue, sword; ship). More at ring.




The translations below need to be checked.




Etymology 1

From Middle Dutch ranc, from Proto-Germanic *rankaz.[1]


Rank (comparative Ranker, superlative Rankst)

  1. slender, svelte

Etymology 2


Rank f. and m. (plural Ranken, diminutive Rankje, diminutive plural Rankjes)

  1. tendril, a thin winding stem;



  1. J. de Vries & F. de Tollenaere, "Etymologisch Woordenboek", Uitgeverij Het Spectrum, Utrecht, 1986 (14de druk)