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4 definitions found

From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 rank and file

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Rank, n.
 1. A row or line; a range; an order; a tier; as, a rank of osiers.
 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, 1 (a).
 Fierce, fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
 In ranks and squadrons and right form of war.   --Shak.
 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. (b) See under 1st File.
 The ranks, the order or grade of common soldiers; as, to reduce a noncommissioned officer to the ranks.
 To fill the ranks, to supply the whole number, or a competent number.
 To take rank of, to have precedence over, or to have the right of taking a higher place than.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 File n.
 1. An orderly succession; a line; a row; as: (a) (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 “fours deep” would be spoken of as 25 files in 4 ranks.
 (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.   --Shak.
 (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. Wotton.
 File firing, the act of firing by file, or each file independently of others.
 File leader, the soldier at the front of any file, who covers and leads those in rear of him.
 File marching, 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.  --Indian file, or Single file, a line of people marching one behind another; a single row.  Also used adverbially; as, to march Indian file.
 On file, preserved in an orderly collection; recorded in some database.
 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.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 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" [syn: rank]
      2: people who constitute the main body of any group