Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

rank - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun rank pronunciation in British English /ræŋk/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] someones official position in the armed forces, police, fire service etc
    Her rank when she retired was captain.
    rank of: He joined in 1998, and quickly rose to the rank of inspector.
    senior/junior rank: Let me speak to an officer of more senior rank.
    1. a.
      someones position or job in an organization
      rank of: She had reached the rank of junior minister by the time she was 30.
    2. b.
      someones status in society compared to the status of other people
      In the past, dress, speech, and table manners indicated social rank.
      people of high rank
  2. 2
    [countable] a line of people, especially soldiers
    They marched in ranks of five.
    1. a.
      a number of things arranged in a line
      rows of women seated at tidy ranks of computers
  3. 3


    [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.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog