Definition of


  1. (noun, attribute) an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control:
    a piano has a greater range than the human voice
    the ambit of municipal legislation
    within the compass of this article
    within the scope of an investigation
    outside the reach of the law
    in the political orbit of a world power
  2. (noun, location) the limits within which something can be effective
    he was beyond the reach of their fire
  3. (noun, location) a large tract of grassy open land on which livestock can graze
    he dreamed of a home on the range
  4. (noun, object) a series of hills or mountains
    the plains lay just beyond the mountain range
  5. (noun, artifact) a place for shooting (firing or driving) projectiles of various kinds
    any good golf club will have a range where you can practice
  6. (noun, group) a variety of different things or activities
    he was impressed by the range and diversity of the collection
  7. (noun, group) (mathematics) the set of values of the dependent variable for which a function is defined
  8. (noun, cognition) the limit of capability
  9. (noun, artifact) a kitchen appliance used for cooking food
  10. (verb, stative) change or be different within limits
    Interest rates run from 5 to 10 percent
    The instruments ranged from tuba to cymbals
    My students range from very bright to dull
  11. (verb, motion) move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment
    roving vagabonds
    the wandering Jew
    The cattle roam across the prairie
    the laborers drift from one town to the next
    They rolled from town to town
  12. (verb, stative) have a range; be capable of projecting over a certain distance, as of a gun
  13. (verb, stative) range or extend over; occupy a certain area
  14. (verb, contact) lay out orderly or logically in a line or as if in a line
    lay out the arguments
  15. (verb, contact) feed as in a meadow or pasture
  16. (verb, consumption) let eat
  17. (verb, cognition) assign a rank or rating to
    The restaurant is rated highly in the food guide

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Range

  1. c.1300, "row or line of persons" (esp. hunters or soldiers), from O.Fr. range "range, rank," from rangier "to place in a row, arrange," from reng "row, line" (see rank (n.)). Meaning "row of mountains" is from 1705. Meaning "scope, extent" first recorded 1666; that of "area over which animals seek food" is from 1626, from the verb meaning "move over a large… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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