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rank

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noun American English pronunciation: rank /ræŋk/ 
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singularrank
pluralranks
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] someone's official position in the military, police, fire department, etc.

    Her rank when she retired was captain.

    rank of:

    He joined in 1998, and quickly rose to the rank of detective.

    senior/junior rank:

    Let me speak to an officer of more senior rank.

    1. a.
      someone's position or job in an organization
      rank of:

      She had reached the rank of chief financial officer by the time she was 30.

    2. b.
      someone's status in society compared to the status of other people

      In the past, dress, speech, and table manners indicated your social rank.

      people of high rank

  2. 3

    ranks

    [plural] all the people within a group, organization, etc.

    This reversal of policy touched off a violent dispute within the party ranks.

    join the ranks (of something):

    Another Republican senator joins the ranks of the presidential hopefuls.

    swell the ranks (=make a group bigger):

    The organization is looking for young people to swell their ranks.

    1. a.

      the ranks

      all the members of a military organization who are not officers
      be reduced to the ranks (=have your officer rank taken away as a punishment):

      At the court-martial Captain Bomford was reduced to the ranks.

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