break ranks


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Related to break ranks: break new ground, broke ranks

break ranks

1. Literally, to step out of a military formation. Don't break ranks, or the drill sergeant will lose it.
2. By extension, to behave in a way that is different from or opposes the other members of a group that one is a part of. You're a part of management now—if you disagree with their initiatives, then you need to break ranks.
See also: break, rank

break ranks

to do or say something different from what a group you belong to does or says Two owners broke ranks and said they were against locking out the players.
Usage notes: often followed by with: They decided to break ranks with the alliance and work independently for a solution.
Etymology: based on the military meaning of break ranks (to walk away from a straight row in which you and other soldiers have been standing)
See also: break, rank

break ranks

to publicly show that you disagree with a group of which you are a member (often + with ) Junior officers were said to be prepared to break ranks with the leadership.
See also: break, rank

break ranks

Fall out of line or into disorder; also, fail to conform, deviate. For example, The recruits were warned that they must not break ranks, or Harry was told to adhere to the party platform and not break ranks. This idiom uses rank in the sense of "soldiers drawn up in line," and the term originally referred to their falling into disarray. The figurative usage dates from the mid-1800s.
See also: break, rank
References in periodicals archive ?
Breaking ranks with Negro American officialdom, which lauded the reigning queen of pulp fiction, was no small feat, suggests David Levering Lewis, and "only Sterling Brown had the courage to break ranks and deeply anger Hurst" (297).
Fortunately for taxpayers, cartel members eventually will cave in to the temptation to break ranks and slash taxes, leading to the group's demise and reductions in tax burdens and complexity.
As one of eight union presidents to break ranks with their AFL leadership for its reluctance to organize the mass industries, Hillman aided in the creation of a "committee for industrial organization," which became the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).
However, the Machinist Union views how to accomplish these goals differently, and felt that we needed to break ranks from the USW in order to get our own vision of the future across to the company and represent the needs of our own members.
Cabrera heats up: Orlando Cabrera's 26 RBI since the All-Star break ranks second on the team to Vladimir Guerrero (46), a sign of his second-half resurgence.
Time will tell, but where former politicians who have had business experience break ranks (albeit in a retired capacity) with their own party dogma, one cannot but suspect that they are probably right.
That he should break ranks like this gives Howard a huge headache in his bid to portray the Tories as possessors of cohesive and innovative ideas on governing a better Britain.
The insider said: "They will all break ranks and go it alone to protect their business and sales.