Definition for RANK

RANK, a. [Sax. ranc, proud, haughty; Sp. and It. rancio; L. rancidus, from ranceo, to smell strong. The primary sense of the root is to advance, to shoot forward, to gene luxuriantly, whence the sense of strong, vigorous; W. rhac, rhag, before; rhacu, rhaciaw, to advance, to put forward. This word belongs probably to the same family as the preceding.]

  1. Luxuriant in growth; being of vigorous growth; as, rank grass; rank weeds. Seven ears came up upon one stalk, rank and good. – Gen. xli.
  2. Causing vigorous growth; producing luxuriantly; very rich and fertile; as, land is rank. – Mortimer.
  3. Strong scented; as, rank smelling rue. – Spenser.
  4. Rancid; musty; as, oil of a rank smell.
  5. Inflamed with venereal appetite. – Shak.
  6. Strong to the taste; high tasted. Divers sea fowls taste rank of the fish on which they feed. Boyle.
  7. Rampant; high grown; raised to a high degree; excessive; as, rank pride; rank idolatry. I do forgive / Thy rankest faults. – Shak.
  8. Gross; coarse. – Shak.
  9. Strong; clinching. Take rank hold. Hence,
  10. Excessive; exceeding the actual value; as, a rank modus in law. – Blackstone. To set rank, as the iron of a plane, to set it so as to take off a thick shaving. Moxon.

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