1. the extent to which or the limits between which variation is possible: the range of steel prices; a wide range of styles.
  2. the extent or scope of the operation or action of something: within range of vision.
  3. the distance to which a projectile is or may be sent by a weapon.
  4. the distance of the target from the weapon.
  5. an area equipped with targets for practice in shooting weapons: a rifle range.
  6. an area used for flight-testing missiles.
  7. the distance of something to be located from some point of operation, as in sound ranging.
  8. the distance that can be covered by an aircraft, ship, or other vehicle, carrying a normal load without refueling.
  9. Statistics. the difference between the largest and smallest values in a statistical distribution.
  10. a continuous course of masonry of the same height from end to end.
  11. Music. compass(def 4).
  12. Surveying.
    1. the horizontal direction or extension of a survey line established by two or more marked points.
    2. (in U.S. public-land surveys) one of a series of divisions numbered east or west from the principal meridian of the survey and consisting of a row of townships, each six miles square, that are numbered north or south from a base line.
  13. Navigation. a line established by markers or lights on shore for the location of soundings.
  14. a rank, class, or order: in the higher ranges of society.
  15. a row, line, or series, as of persons or things.
  16. an act of ranging or moving around, as over an area or region.
  17. Also called rangeland. an area or tract that is or may be ranged over, especially an open region for the grazing of livestock.
  18. the region over which a population or species is distributed: the range of the Baltimore oriole.
  19. Mathematics. the set of all values attained by a given function throughout its domain.
  20. a chain of mountains forming a single system: the Catskill Range.
  21. a large portable or stationary cooking stove having burners built into the top surface and containing one or more ovens.
  22. Physics. the maximum distance that a charged particle, as a proton, can penetrate a given medium and still maintain sufficient kinetic energy to produce ionization in the medium.
  23. Nautical.
    1. a large cleat for securing various lines, especially the tacks and sheets of courses.
    2. a length of anchor cable laid on deck.


  1. working or grazing on a range: range horses; range animals like steer and sheep.

verb (used with object), ranged, rang·ing.

  1. to draw up or arrange (persons or things) in rows or lines or in a specific position, company, or group: The sergeant ranged the troops in columns of six across.
  2. to place or arrange systematically; set in order; dispose: The members of the cast were ranged in their proper places on stage.
  3. to place in a particular class; classify: They ranged themselves with the liberals.
  4. to make straight, level, or even, as lines of type.
  5. to pass over or through (an area or region) in all directions, as in exploring or searching: They ranged the entire countryside.
  6. to pasture (cattle) on a range.
  7. to direct or train, as a telescope, upon an object.
  8. to obtain the range of (something aimed at or to be located).
  9. Nautical. to lay out (an anchor cable) so that the anchor may descend smoothly.

verb (used without object), ranged, rang·ing.

  1. to vary within certain limits: prices ranging from $5 to $10.
  2. to have a certain variety of things somehow related: emotions ranging from smugness to despair.
  3. to move around or through a region in all directions, as people or animals.
  4. to rove, roam, or wander: The talk ranged over a variety of subjects.
  5. to stretch out or extend in a line, as things: shabby houses ranged along the road.
  6. to extend, run, or go in a certain direction: a boundary ranging from east and west.
  7. to lie or extend in the same line or plane, as one thing with another or others.
  8. to take up a position in a line or in order.
  9. to extend, be found, or occur over an area or throughout a period, as an animal or plant.
  10. to have a specified range, as a gun, missile, etc.
  11. to find the range, as of something aimed at or to be located.
  12. Nautical. (of an anchored vessel) to swerve or sheer (often followed by about).
  1. in range, (of two or more objects observed from a vessel) located one directly behind the other.


  1. the limits within which a person or thing can function effectivelythe range of vision
  2. the limits within which any fluctuation takes placea range of values
  3. the total products of a manufacturer, designer, or stockistthe new autumn range
    1. the maximum effective distance of a projectile fired from a weapon
    2. the distance between a target and a weapon
  4. an area set aside for shooting practice or rocket testing
  5. the total distance which a ship, aircraft, or land vehicle is capable of covering without taking on fresh fuelthe range of this car is about 160 miles
  6. physics the distance that a particle of ionizing radiation, such as an electron or proton, can travel through a given medium, esp air, before ceasing to cause ionization
  7. maths logic
    1. (of a function) the set of values that the function takes for all possible argumentsCompare domain (def. 7a)
    2. (of a variable) the set of values that a variable can take
    3. (of a quantifier) the set of values that the variable bound by the quantifier can take
  8. statistics a measure of dispersion obtained by subtracting the smallest from the largest sample values
  9. the extent of pitch difference between the highest and lowest notes of a voice, instrument, etc
  10. US and Canadian
    1. an extensive tract of open land on which livestock can graze
    2. (as modifier)range cattle
  11. the geographical region in which a species of plant or animal normally grows or lives
  12. a rank, row, or series of items
  13. a series or chain of mountains
  14. a large stove with burners and one or more ovens, usually heated by solid fuel
  15. the act or process of ranging
  16. nautical a line of sight taken from the sea along two or more navigational aids that mark a navigable channel
  17. the extension or direction of a survey line, established by marking two or more points
  18. a double-faced bookcase, as in a library
  19. range of significance philosophy logic the set of subjects for which a given predicate is intelligible


  1. to establish or be situated in a line, row, or series
  2. (tr; often reflexive foll by with) to put into a specific category; classifyshe ranges herself with the angels
  3. (foll by on) to aim or point (a telescope, gun, etc) or (of a gun, telescope, etc) to be pointed or aimed
  4. to establish the distance of (a target) from (a weapon)
  5. (intr) (of a gun or missile) to have a specified range
  6. (when intr , foll by over) to wander about (in) an area; roam (over)
  7. (intr foll by over) (of an animal or plant) to live or grow in its normal habitat
  8. (tr) to put (cattle) to graze on a range
  9. (intr) to fluctuate within specific limitstheir ages range from 18 to 21
  10. (intr) to extend or run in a specific direction
  11. (tr) nautical to coil (an anchor rope or chain) so that it will pay out smoothly
  12. (intr) nautical (of a vessel) to swing back and forth while at anchor
  13. (tr) to make (lines of printers’ type) level or even at the margin

c.1200, “row or line of persons” (especially hunters or soldiers), from Old French range “range, rank” (see range (v.)). General sense of “line, row” is from early 14c.; meaning “row of mountains” is from 1705.

Meaning “scope, extent” first recorded late 15c.; that of “area over which animals seek food” is from 1620s, from the verb. Specific U.S. sense of “series of townships six miles in width” is from 1785. Sense of “distance a gun can send a bullet” is recorded from 1590s; meaning “place used for shooting practice” is from 1862. The cooking appliance so called since mid-15c., for unknown reasons. Originally a stove built into a fireplace with openings on top for multiple operations. Range-finder attested from 1872.


c.1200, rengen, “move over a large area, roam with the purpose of searching or hunting,” from Old French ranger, earlier rengier “to place in a row, arrange; get into line,” from reng “row, line,” from a Germanic source (see rank (n.)). Sense of “to arrange in rows” is recorded from c.1300; intransitive sense of “exist in a row or rows” is from c.1600. Related: Ranged; ranging.


  1. In statistics, the difference or interval between the smallest and largest values in a frequency distribution.

  1. The set of all values that a given function may have. Compare domain.
  2. The difference between the smallest and largest values in a set of data. If the lowest test score of a group of students is 54 and the highest is 94, the range is 40.

see at close range.

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