rank noun

1 level of importance

ADJ. high, senior, superior, upper | middle | inferior, junior, low the lowest ranks of the aristocracy | first, second He is in the first rank of university teachers. | social | Cabinet, ministerial a government minister of Cabinet rank

VERB + RANK achieve, attain, be promoted to, get to, reach, rise to She joined the navy, where she rose to the rank of captain. | have, hold He held officer rank in the air force for many years. | be stripped of He was stripped of his rank by a military court.

PREP. above a/the ~ He never rose above the rank of lieutenant. | below a/the ~ police officers below the rank of sergeant | in ~ He is higher in rank than I am. | ~ in all ranks in society | ~ of She reached the rank of captain.

PHRASES of high/low, etc. rank officers of senior rank

2 group/line of things/people

ADJ. front, rear | massed, serried the serried ranks of hotel staff

PREP. along a/the ~ The president moved slowly along the ranks of men. | in a/the ~ standing in the second rank The soldiers marched in three ranks of ten.

PHRASES break ranks (= to leave a line of soldiers, police, etc.) The police broke ranks and started hitting people with their batons. | rank on/upon rank (of sth) Rank upon rank of caravans filled the field.

3 (also the ranks) ordinary members of a large group

VERB + RANK be admitted into/to, enter, join, swell Each month thousands more swell the ranks of the unemployed. | serve in They had served in the ranks of the Sultan's army. | come up from/through, rise from/through He came up through the ranks to become a general.

PREP. among/within the ~s of There is much disaffection among the ranks of the party. | beyond/outside the ~s The group has little influence over those outside its own ranks. | in the ~s There are few women in the highest ranks of the organization. > Note at RANK