1a position in the hierarchy of the armed forces:an army officer of high rank he was promoted to the rank of Captain a position within the hierarchy of an organization or society:only two cabinet members had held ministerial rank before [mass noun] high social position:persons of rank and breeding Statistics a number specifying position in a numerically ordered series. (in systemic grammar) the level of a linguistic unit or set of linguistic units in relation to other sets in the hierarchy.
2a single line of soldiers or police officers drawn up abreast: they were drawn up outside their barracks in long ranks a regular row or line of things or people:conifer plantations growing in serried ranks Chess each of the eight rows of eight squares running from side to side across a chessboard. Compare with file2. 3
) the people belonging to or constituting a group or class:the ranks of Britain’s unemployed
) (in the armed forces) those who are not commissioned officers:he was fined and reduced to the ranks
4 Mathematics the value or the order of the largest non-zero determinant of a given matrix. 1give (someone or something) a rank or place within a grading system:students ranked the samples in order of preference [with object and complement]:she is ranked number four in the world [no object, with adverbial] have a specified rank or place within a grading system:he now ranks third in America [with object] US take precedence over (someone) in respect of rank; outrank:the Secretary of State ranks all the other members of the cabinet
2arrange in a row or rows:the tents were ranked in orderly rows