break ranks

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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

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

break ranks


break rank

COMMON If someone breaks ranks or breaks rank, they do not follow the instructions or opinions of their group or organization, and instead, say or do something that shows a different opinion. Note: A rank of soldiers is a line of them standing side by side. Would you break ranks with your party and vote against the president's tax bill? A former cabinet minister has broken ranks to protest at the Government's plans to cut the education budget. Note: When soldiers break ranks, they stop standing in a line and move apart.
See also: break, rank

break rank (or ranks)

1 (of soldiers or police officers) fail to remain in line. 2 fail to maintain solidarity.
See also: break, rank

break ˈranks

(of the members of a group) refuse to support a group or an organization of which they are members: Large numbers of MPs felt compelled to break ranks over the issue.
This idiom refers to soldiers, police etc. failing to remain in line.
See also: break, rank
References in periodicals archive ?
There are certain presuppositions in Breaking Ranks II in which the reader is invited to share: every student counts, every student can learn, and every student should be taught.
Some of the recommendations included in Breaking Ranks H reflect the recommendations of ACTE.
THE combined MMR vaccine yesterday received cross-party support in the Welsh Assembly with the Tories breaking ranks with their Westminster colleagues over the single jab.
This publication describes how schools can develop the capacity to analyze and use data as a core component of improving secondary schools using the Breaking Ranks Model.
Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, the House minority leader, joined other Democrats in breaking ranks and calling on party members to back a single candidate, according to The Associated Press.
The legislation, backed by the insurance industry, passed 53-47, with two Republicans breaking ranks to vote with Democrats.
Davis clearly voiced support for the death penalty during his campaign for governor, breaking ranks with some of his fellow Democrats.
All but one voted for a second perjury article early Friday evening, with Graham breaking ranks on that occasion.