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Evolution (or devolution) of this word [rank]
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RANK, the old pret. of ring. [Nearly obsolete.]
RANK, a. [Sax. ranc, proud, haughty; Sp. and It. rancio; L. rancidus, from ranceo, to smell strong. The primary sense of the root is to advance, to shoot forward, to gene luxuriantly, whence the sense of strong, vigorous; W. rhac, rhag, before; rhacu, rhaciaw, to advance, to put forward. This word belongs probably to the same family as the preceding.]
- Luxuriant in growth; being of vigorous growth; as, rank grass; rank weeds.
Seven ears came up upon one stalk, rank and good. – Gen. xli.
- Causing vigorous growth; producing luxuriantly; very rich and fertile; as, land is rank. – Mortimer.
- Strong scented; as, rank smelling rue. – Spenser.
- Rancid; musty; as, oil of a rank smell.
- Inflamed with venereal appetite. – Shak.
- Strong to the taste; high tasted.
Divers sea fowls taste rank of the fish on which they feed. Boyle.
- Rampant; high grown; raised to a high degree; excessive; as, rank pride; rank idolatry.
I do forgive / Thy rankest faults. – Shak.
- Gross; coarse. – Shak.
- Strong; clinching. Take rank hold. Hence,
- Excessive; exceeding the actual value; as, a rank modus in law. – Blackstone.
To set rank, as the iron of a plane, to set it so as to take off a thick shaving. Moxon.
RANK, n. [Ir. ranc; W. rhenc; Arm. rencq; Fr. rang, a row or line; It. rango, rank, condition Port and Sp. rancho, a mess or set of persons; D. Dan. and G. rang. In these words, n is probably casual; Ar. رَكَا raka, to set in order; Heb. and Ch. ערך, id. Class Rg, No. 13, 47. See also No. 18, 20, 21, 27, 46. The primary sense is probably to reach, to stretch, or to pass, to stretch along. Hence rank and grade are often synonymous.]
- A row or line, applied to troops; a line of men standing abreast or side by side, and as opposed to file, a line running the length of a company, battalion or regiment. Keep your ranks; dress your ranks.
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds / In ranks and squadrons and right form of war. – Shak.
- Ranks, in the plural, the order of common soldiers; as, to reduce an officer to the ranks.
- A row; a line of things, or things in a line; as, a rank of osiers. – Shak.
- Degree; grade; in military affairs; as, the rank of captain, colonel or general; the rank of vice-admiral.
- Degree of elevation in civil life or station; the order of elevation or of subordination. We say, all ranks and orders of men; every man's dress and behavior should correspond with his rank; the highest and the lowest ranks of men or of other intelligent beings.
- Class; order; division; any portion or number of things to which place, degree or order is assigned. Profligate men, by their vices, sometimes degrade themselves to the rank of brutes.
- Degree of dignity, eminence or excellence; as, a writer of the first rank; a lawyer of high rank.
These are all virtues of a theater rank. – Addison.
- Dignity; high place or degree in the orders of men; as a man of rank.
Rank and file, the order of common soldiers. Ten officers and three hundred rank and file fell in the action.
To fill the ranks, to supply the whole number, or a competent number.
To take rank, to enjoy precedence, or to have the right of taking a higher place. In Great Britain, the king's soul take rank of all the other nobles.
- To be ranged; to be set or disposed; as in a particular degree, class, order or division.
Let that one article rank with the vest. – Shak.
- To be placed in a rank or ranks.
Go, rank in tribes, and quit the savage wood. – Tate.
- To have a certain grade or degree of elevation in the orders of civil or military life. He ranks with a major. He ranks with the first class of poets. He ranks high in public estimation.
- To place abreast or in a line. – Milton.
- To place in a particular class, order or division.
Poets were ranked in the class of philosophers. – Broome.
Heresy is ranked with idolatry and witchcraft. – Decay of Piety.
- To dispose methodically; to place in suitable order.
Who now shall rear you to the sun, or rank your tribes? – Milton.
Ranking all things under general and special heads. Watts.
- Luxuriant in growth; of
vigorous growth; exuberant; grown to immoderate height; as,
rank grass; rank weeds.
- Rankly; stoutly;
- A row or line] a
range; an order; a tier; as, a rank of osiers.
- To place
abreast, or in a line.
be ranged; to be set or disposed, as in a particular degree, class,
order, or division.
- Raised to a high degree; violent; extreme;
gross; utter; as, rank heresy.
- A line of soldiers ranged
side by side; -- opposed to file. See 1st File, 1
- To range in a particular class, order, or
division] to class; also, to dispose methodically; to place in
suitable classes or order; to classify.
- To have a certain grade or degree of
elevation in the orders of civil or military life; to have a certain
degree of esteem or consideration; as, he ranks with the first
class of poets; he ranks high in public estimation.
- Causing vigorous growth; producing
luxuriantly; very rich and fertile; as, rank land.
- Grade of official standing, as in the army,
navy, or nobility; as, the rank of general; the rank of
- To take rank of; to outrank.
- Strong-scented; rancid; musty; as, oil of a
rank smell; rank-smelling rue.
- An aggregate of individuals classed
together; a permanent social class; an order; a division; as,
ranks and orders of men; the highest and the lowest
ranks of men, or of other intelligent beings.
- Strong to the taste.
- Degree of dignity, eminence, or excellence;
position in civil or social life; station; degree; grade; as, a writer
of the first rank; a lawyer of high rank.
- Inflamed with venereal appetite.
- Elevated grade or standing; high degree;
high social position; distinction; eminence; as, a man of
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