rank

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Related to ranks: Military 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

close ranks

1. Literally, to move closer to the other troops while in a military formation. As soon as the captain called for us to close ranks, we all moved closer together.
2. By extension, to show support for someone or something, especially as a response to criticism. This phrase is typically applied to a group of people. Our family was sure to close ranks behind mom as she suffered public backlash during her campaign for mayor.
See also: close, rank

come up through the ranks

To reach a prominent position after serving in subordinate ones. Those employees trust Stu because they know that he came up through the ranks and once held the same entry-level position that they have now.
See also: come, rank, through, up

join the ranks (of something)

To become a part or member of a large group or organization. Hey, I heard you'll be joining the ranks at our office next month. Congratulations! Each year, more and more people join the ranks of those whose livelihoods were destroyed by the economic recession.
See also: join, rank

pull rank (on one)

To use one's higher position of authority to dictate what someone does or to gain an advantage for oneself. Even though I'm the boss, I try not to pull rank and let everyone have equal say in how things are done. Whenever new assignments comes up, Tom always pulls rank on us and picks the best one for himself.
See also: pull, rank

rank and file

1. adjective Everyday; ordinary; not in a position of authority or power. (Hyphenated before a noun.) The scandal appears to go beyond rank-and-file officers all the way to the heads of the police force. Everyone assumes I make a lot of money because I work in the film industry, but the pay for a rank-and-file crew member is actually pretty low.
2. noun Ordinary members who are not in a position of leadership, authority, or power. The deal was rejected by a large majority of the rank and file within the union.
See also: and, file, rank

close ranks

to move closer together in a military formation. The soldiers closed ranks and marched on the enemy in tight formation.
See also: close, rank

close ranks

(behind someone or something) to support someone or something; to back someone or something. We will close ranks behind the party's nominee. Let's close ranks behind her and give her the support she needs.
See also: close, rank

close ranks (with someone)

to join with someone in a cause, or agreement. We can fight this menace only if we close ranks. Let's all close ranks with Ann and adopt her suggestions.
See also: close, rank

come up through the ranks

Fig. to rise to a position of leadership by working up through the sequence of lower positions. He came up through the ranks to become a corporate executive. The general came up through the ranks. There is no other way to become a general.
See also: come, rank, through, up

pull rank (on someone)

Fig. to assert one's rank, authority, or position over someone when making a request or giving an order. Don't pull rank on me! I don't have to do what you say! When she couldn't get her way politely, she pulled rank and really got some action.
See also: pull, rank

rank above someone

to outrank someone; to rank higher than someone. I think that I rank above you, so I will sit by the window. The boss ranks above everyone and demands that everyone recognize the fact.
See also: above, rank

rank among something

to be included in a particular group. In my opinion, Kelly ranks among the very best. Tom ranks among the most widely known of the contemporary writers.
See also: among, rank

rank and file

 
1. Lit. regular soldiers, not the officers. I think there is low morale among the rank and file, sir. The rank and file usually do exactly as they are told.
2. Fig. the ordinary members of a group, not the leaders. The rank and file will vote on the proposed contract tomorrow. The last contract was turned down by the rank and file last year.
See also: and, file, rank

rank as something

to have a particular rank; to serve in a particular rank. She ranks as a fine pianist in my book. Don ranks as the top economist of the day.
See also: rank

rank on someone

Sl. to attack someone verbally; to gossip about someone. Please stop ranking on my family! Tom keeps ranking on Jennifer, and she is really mad about it.
See also: on, rank

rank someone among something

to judge someone to be essentially equal to a specific group of people. I don't rank Kelly among the best drivers in the world. Our committee ranked Fred among the best of the current applicants.
See also: among, rank

rank someone or something as something

to assign a particular rank to someone or something. I have to rank Sally as number one. She's the best. Mary ranked the chocolate as the best she had ever eaten.
See also: rank

rank someone (out)

 
1. Sl. to annoy someone. He really ranks me out. What a pest!
2. Sl. to chastise someone. She ranked him out for being a coward. I ranked out the whole gang, but good!

rank someone with someone

to judge someone to be equal with someone. Would you rank Tom with Donna? Fred ranked himself with Tom when it came to diving.
See also: rank

rank with someone or something

to be equal to someone or something. Do you think Sarah ranks with Albert? No one ranks with Albert. The food at that restaurant ranks with that of the best places in New York.
See also: rank

rise from the ranks

Fig. to achieve position or office, having worked up from the masses. He rose from the ranks to become president of the company. Most of the officers of the company have risen from the ranks.
See also: rank, rise

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

close ranks

Unite, work together, as in The members decided to close ranks and confront the president. This expression, dating from the late 1700s, comes from the military, where it denotes bringing troops into close order so there are no gaps in the fighting line. (A slightly earlier form was close lines.) It has been used figuratively since the mid-1800s.
See also: close, rank

pull rank

Use one's higher status to compel obedience or obtain privileges, as in She hated pulling rank in the office, but sometimes it was necessary. This term comes from the military. [c. 1920]
See also: pull, rank

rank and file

Followers, the general membership, as in This new senator really appeals to the rank and file in the labor unions. This expression comes from the military, where a rank denotes soldiers standing side by side in a row, and file refers to soldiers standing behind one another. The first recorded figurative use of this term was in 1860.
See also: and, file, rank

rise through the ranks

Also, rise from the ranks; come up through the ranks. Work one's way to the top, as in He's risen through the ranks, starting as a copyboy and ending up as senior editor. Originally this term was used for an officer who had worked his way up from the rank of private, a rare feat. It was being applied to nonmilitary advances by the mid-1800s. Also see come up, def. 4.
See also: rank, rise, through

pull rank

If someone in authority pulls rank, they use their power or position to make people do what they want, in a way that is not fair. He was a chief superintendent and just occasionally he pulled rank. The Federal Government threatened to pull rank and override the states with its own legislation. Note: This expression is often used to show disapproval.
See also: pull, rank

rank and file

The rank and file of an organization are its ordinary members rather than its leaders. He gave the sort of speeches the rank and file wanted to hear. Note: Rank-and-file is often used before nouns. The take-home pay of a rank-and-file orchestra member at the time was only 2.7 million lire per month.
See also: and, file, rank

break ranks

or

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

close ranks

COMMON If the members of a group close ranks, they say things to show that they support each other totally when someone who is not in their group criticizes one of their members. Note: A rank of soldiers is a line of them standing side by side. They would more likely close ranks and support their president rather than abandon him in an election year. Cabinet ministers have closed ranks behind the Prime Minister, saying there was no question of his stepping down. Note: When soldiers close ranks, they stand closer together so that it is hard for anyone to break through the line.
See also: close, 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

close ranks

1 (of soldiers or police officers) come closer together in a line. 2 unite in order to defend common interests.
2 1998 Country Life The farming community stands to lose those privileges unless it closes ranks against the few who let the side down.
See also: close, rank

pull rank

take unfair advantage of your seniority or privileged position.
See also: pull, rank

rank and file

the ordinary members of an organization as opposed to its leaders.
The notion behind the expression is of the ‘ranks’ and ‘files’ into which privates and non-commissioned officers form on parade.
See also: and, file, rank

rise through (or from) the ranks

1 (of a private or a non-commissioned officer) receive a commission. 2 advance from a lowly position in an organization by your own efforts.
See also: rank, rise, through

close ˈranks

(of the members of a profession, group, etc.) co-operate closely to protect and defend each other: Although the family quarrelled a good deal among themselves, they quickly closed ranks against any outsider who criticized one of them.
See also: close, rank

pull ˈrank (on somebody)

make unfair use of your senior position, authority, etc. in an organization, etc: I was really looking forward to going to Rome on business, but then my manager pulled rank on me and said she was going instead.
The position, especially a high one, that somebody has in the army, etc. is called a rank.
See also: pull, rank

(the) ˌrank and ˈfile

(the) ordinary members of a group or an organization: I can see that you are happy with the plan but what will the rank and file think?The rank-and-file members don’t elect the leader. OPPOSITE: (the) top brass
In the military, the rank and file are ordinary soldiers who are not officers.
See also: and, file, 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

come up/rise through the ˈranks

after starting your career at the bottom or low down in an organization, finally reach a high position in it: The new managing director has come up through the ranks, which is quite unusual these days.
In the military, the ranks refers to the position of ordinary soldiers rather than officers. Some may become officers if they have the right qualities.
See also: come, rank, rise, through, up

rank

tv. to give someone a hard time; to hassle someone. (Possible from pull rank = use rank to dominate someone.) Stop ranking me!

rank and file

n. the common members of something. What will the rank and file think of the proposal?
See also: and, file, rank

rank on someone

in. to attack someone verbally; to gossip about someone. (see also rank.) Please stop ranking on my family!
See also: on, rank

rank someone (out)

tv. to annoy or chastise someone. (see also rank.) He really ranks me out. What a pest!
See also: out, rank

rank someone

verb
See also: rank
References in classic literature ?
There was among the ranks of the Disinherited Knight a champion in black armour, mounted on a black horse, large of size, tall, and to all appearance powerful and strong, like the rider by whom he was mounted, This knight, who bore on his shield no device of any kind, had hitherto evinced very little interest in the event of the fight, beating off with seeming case those combatants who attacked him, but neither pursuing his advantages, nor himself assailing any one.
Suddenly a man sprang out of the English ranks, fell upon Athos, twined arms of steel around him, and tearing his sword from him, said in his ear:
His armour is laid upon the ground, and he stalks in front of the ranks as it were some great woolly ram ordering his ewes.
It may gratify the pride of aristocracy to reflect that disease, more than any other circumstance of human life, pays due observance to the distinctions which rank and wealth, and poverty and lowliness, have established among mankind.
They were down wind from Tarzan, and so their scent was not carried to him, and as his back was turned half toward them he did not see their cautious advance over the edge of the promontory and down through the rank grass toward the sandy beach where he lay.
Not a rifleman in those crouching ranks, not a cannoneer at those masked and shotted guns, but knows the needs of the situation, the imperative duty of forbearance.
The Nome King had left his throne and pressed through his warriors to the front ranks, so he could see what was going on; but as he faced Ozma and her friends the Scarecrow, as if aroused to action by the valor of the private, drew one of Billina's eggs from his right jacket pocket and hurled it straight at the little monarch's head.
The rank, wealth, and eminent character of the deceased must have insured the strictest scrutiny into every ambiguous circumstance.
Sandy, which is the highest rank, patriarch or prophet?
You were always in the front rank, and I was always behind.
Yonder group Of scarlet peonies hath ringed about A lordly fellow with ten witnesses Of his official rank.
Military rank under the crown of Great Britain was attained with much longer probation, and by much more toilsome services, sixty years ago than at the present time.
But now in this government of Plato's there are no traces of a monarchy, only of an oligarchy and democracy; though he seems to choose that it should rather incline to an oligarchy, as is evident from the appointment of the magistrates; for to choose them by lot is common to both; but that a man of fortune must necessarily be a member of the assembly, or to elect the magistrates, or take part in the management of public affairs, while others are passed over, makes the state incline to an oligarchy; as does the endeavouring that the greater part of the rich may be in office, and that the rank of their appointments may correspond with their fortunes.
If I had been a young lady in your own rank of life," she went on, "I might have thanked you for paying me a compliment, and have given you a serious answer.
A true knowledge of the world is gained only by conversation, and the manners of every rank must be seen in order to be known.