REACH, v.t. Raught, the ancient preterit, is obsolete. The verb is now regular; pp. reached. L. rego, to rule or govern, to make right or straight, that is, to strain or stretch, the radical sense. The English sense of reach appears in L. porrigo and porricio. Greek, to reach, to stretch, the radical sense of desiring. L. fragro. But the primary sense is the same, to reach, to extend, to shoot forth, to urge.]

1. To extend; to stretch; in a general sense; sometimes followed by out and forth; as, to reach out the arm. Hence,

2. To extend to; to touch by extending either the arm alone, or with an instrument in the hand; as, to reach a book on the shelf; I cannot reach the object with my cane; the seaman reaches the bottom of the river with a pole or a line.

3. To strike from a distance.

O patron power, thy present aid afford, that I may reach the beast.

4. To deliver with the hand by extending the arm; to hand. He reached [to] me an orange.

He reached me a full cup.

5. To extend or stretch from a distance.

Reach hither thy finger - reach hither thy hand. John 20.

6. To arrive at; to come to. The ship reached her port in safety. We reached New York on Thursday. The letter reached me at seven o'clock.

7. To attain to or arrive at, by effort, labor or study; hence, to gain or obtain. Every artist should attempt to reach the point of excellence.

The best accounts of the appearances of nature which human penetration can reach, come short of its reality.

8. To penetrate to.

Whatever alterations are made in the body, if they reach not the mind, there is no perception.

9. To extend to so as to include or comprehend in fact or principle.

The law reached the intention of the promoters, and this act fixed the natural price of money.

If these examples of grown men reach not the case of children, let them examine.

10. To extend to.

Thy desire leads to no excess that reaches blame.

11. To extend; to spread abroad.

Trees reach'd too far their pampered boughs.

12. To take with the hand.

Lest therefore now his bolder hand reach also of the tree of life and eat. [Unusual.]

13. To overreach; to deceive.

REACH, v.i.

1. To be extended.

The new world reaches quite across the torrid zone.

The border shall descend, and shall reach to the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward. Num. 34.

And behold, a ladder set on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. Gen. 28.

2. To penetrate.

Ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth to heaven. 2Chron. 28.

3. To make efforts to vomit. [See Retch.]

To reach after, to make efforts to attain to or obtain.

He would be in a posture of mind, reaching after a positive idea of infinity.


1. In a general sense, extension; a stretching; extent.

2. The power of extending to, or of taking by the hand, or by any instrument managed by the hand. The book is not within my reach. The bottom of the sea is not within the reach of a line or cable.

3. Power of attainment or management, or the limit of power, physical or moral. He used all the means within his reach. The causes of phenomena are often beyond the reach of human intellect.

Be sure yourself and your own reach to know.

4. Effort of the mind in contrivance or research; contrivance; scheme.

- Drawn by others who had deeper reaches than themselves to matters which they least intended.

5. A fetch; an artifice to obtain an advantage.

The duke of Parma had particular reaches and ends of his own underhand, to cross the design.

6. Tendency to distant consequences.

Strain not my speech to grosser issues, nor to larger reach than to suspicion.

7. Extent.

And on the left hand, hell with long reach interpos'd.

8. Among seamen, the distance between two points on the banks of a river, in which the current flows in a straight course.

9. An effort to vomit.