Found 2 items, similar to rank and file.
English → English
Definition: rank and file
rank and file
n 1: the ordinary members of an organization (such as the
enlisted soldiers of an army); “the strike was supported
by the union rank and file”
; “he rose from the ranks to
become a colonel”
2: people who constitute the main body of any group
English → English
Definition: Rank and file
, n. [OE. renk, reng, OF. renc, F. rang, fr. OHG.
hring a circle, a circular row, G. ring. See Ring
, and cf.
, n. & v.]
1. A row or line; a range; an order; a tier; as, a rank of
Many a mountain nigh
Rising in lofty ranks, and loftier still. --Byron.
2. (Mil.) A line of soldiers ranged side by side; -- opposed
to file. See 1st File
Fierce, fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war.
3. Grade of official standing, as in the army, navy, or
nobility; as, the rank of general; the rank of admiral.
4. An aggregate of individuals classed together; a permanent
social class; an order; a division; as, ranks and orders
of men; the highest and the lowest ranks of men, or of
other intelligent beings.
5. Degree of dignity, eminence, or excellence; position in
civil or social life; station; degree; grade; as, a writer
of the first rank; a lawyer of high rank.
These all are virtues of a meaner rank. --Addison.
6. Elevated grade or standing; high degree; high social
position; distinction; eminence; as, a man of rank.
Rank and file
(a) (Mil.) The whole body of common soldiers, including
also corporals. In a more extended sense, it includes
sergeants also, excepting the noncommissioned staff.
(f[imac]l), n. [F. file row (cf. Pr., Sp., Pg., &
It. fila), LL. fila, fr. L. filum a thread. Cf. Enfilade
1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as:
(Mil.) A row of soldiers ranged one behind another; -- in
contradistinction to rank
, which designates a row
of soldiers standing abreast; a number consisting
the depth of a body of troops, which, in the
ordinary modern formation, consists of two men, the
battalion standing two deep, or in two ranks.
Note: The number of files in a company describes its width,
as the number of ranks does its depth; thus, 100 men in
would be spoken of as 25 files in 4
(b) An orderly collection of papers, arranged in sequence
or classified for preservation and reference; as,
files of letters or of newspapers; this mail brings
English files to the 15th instant.
(c) The line, wire, or other contrivance, by which papers
are put and kept in order.
It is upon a file with the duke's other letters.
(d) A roll or list. “A file of all the gentry.”
2. Course of thought; thread of narration. [Obs.]
Let me resume the file of my narration. --Sir H.
3. (computers) a collection of data on a digital recording
medium treated as a unit for the purpose of recording,
reading, storage, or indexing; -- such a file is typically
accessible by computer programs by the use of a file name.
The data may be of any type codable digitally, such as
simple ASCII-coded text, complex binary-coded data, or an
executable program, or may be itself a collection of other
, the act of firing by file, or each file
independently of others.
, the soldier at the front of any file, who
covers and leads those in rear of him.
, the marching of a line two deep, when faced
to the right or left, so that the front and rear rank
march side by side. --Brande & C.
, or Single file
, a line of people marching
one behind another; a single row. Also used adverbially;
as, to march Indian file.
, preserved in an orderly collection; recorded in
Rank and file
(a) The body of soldiers constituting the mass of an army,
including corporals and privates. --Wilhelm.
(b) Those who constitute the bulk or working members of a
party, society, etc., in distinction from the leaders.