From Middle English rank (“strong, proud”), from Old English ranc (“proud, haughty, arrogant, insolent, forward, overbearing, showy, ostentatious, splendid, bold, valiant, noble, brave, strong, full-grown, mature”), from Proto-Germanic *rankaz (“straight”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵ- (“straight, direct”). Cognate with Dutch rank (“slender, slim”), Low German rank (“slender, projecting, lank”), Danish rank (“straight, erect, slender”), Swedish rank (“slender, shaky, wonky”), Icelandic rakkur (“straight, slender, bold, valiant”).
rank (comparative ranker or more rank, superlative rankest or most rank)
- Strong of its kind or in character; unmitigated; virulent; thorough; utter (used of negative things).
- Strong in growth; growing with vigour or rapidity, hence, coarse or gross.
- Suffering from overgrowth or hypertrophy; plethoric.
- Causing strong growth; producing luxuriantly; rich and fertile.
- Strong to the senses; offensive; noisome.
- Having a very strong and bad taste or odor.
- Complete, used as an intensifier (usually negative, referring to incompetence).
- (informal) Gross, disgusting.
- (obsolete) Strong; powerful; capable of acting or being used with great effect; energetic; vigorous; headstrong.
- (obsolete) Inflamed with venereal appetite; ruttish.
rank (comparative more rank, superlative most rank)
- (obsolete) Quickly, eagerly, impetuously.
From Middle English rank (“line, row”), from Old French ranc, rang, reng (“line, row, rank”) (Modern French rang), from Frankish *hring (“ring”), from Proto-Germanic *hringaz (“something bent or curved”).
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.
rank (countable and uncountable, plural ranks)
- 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"].
- (music) In a pipe organ, a set of pipes of a certain quality for which each pipe corresponds to one key or pedal.
- One's position in a list sorted by a shared property such as physical location, population, or quality
- The level of one's position in a class-based society
- a hierarchical level in an organization such as the military
- (taxonomy) a level in a scientific taxonomy system
- (linear algebra) Maximal number of linearly independent columns (or rows) of a matrix.
- (mathematics) The dimensionality of an array (computing) or tensor.
- (mathematics) The size of any basis of a given matroid.
- (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.
- (typically in the plural) A category of people, such as those who share an occupation.
rank (third-person singular simple present ranks, present participle ranking, simple past and past participle ranked)
- To place abreast, or in a line.
- To have a ranking.
- To assign a suitable place in a class or order; to classify.
- (US) To take rank of; to outrank.