Rank vs Mean - What's the difference? (2023)

rank | mean | Related terms |

Rank is a related term of mean.

As adjectives the difference between rank and mean

is that rank is heavy, serious, grievous while mean is mid, central.

As a noun mean is



Etymology 1

From (etyl) .


  • Strong of its kind or in character; unmitigated; virulent; thorough; utter.
  • Strong in growth; growing with vigour or rapidity, hence, coarse or gross.
  • * Bible, (w) xli. 5
    And, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1944, author=(w), title= The Three Corpse Trick, chapter=5, passage=The hovel stood in the centre of what had once been a vegetable garden, but was now a patch of rank weeds. Surrounding this, almost like a zareba, was an irregular ring of gorse and brambles, an unclaimed vestige of the original common.}}
  • Suffering from overgrowth or hypertrophy; plethoric.
  • * 1899 , (Joseph Conrad),
    The moon had spread over everything a thin layer of silver—over the rank grass, over the mud, upon the wall of matted vegetation standing higher than the wall of a temple
  • Causing strong growth; producing luxuriantly; rich and fertile.
  • Strong to the senses; offensive; noisome.
  • Having a very strong and bad taste or odor.
  • * (Robert Boyle) (1627-1691)
    Divers sea fowls taste rank of the fish on which they feed.
  • Complete, used as an intensifier (usually negative, referring to incompetence).
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=March 1, author=Phil McNulty, work=BBC, title= Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd, passage=Chelsea remain rank outsiders to retain their crown and they still lie 12 points adrift of United, but Ancelotti will regard this as a performance that supports his insistence that they can still have a say when the major prizes are handed out this season.}}
  • (label) Gross, disgusting.
  • (label) Strong; powerful; capable of acting or being used with great effect; energetic; vigorous; headstrong.
  • (label) Inflamed with venereal appetite.
  • Synonyms

    * (bad odor) stinky, smelly** See also: pong (UK)* (complete) complete, utter


    (en adverb)

  • (obsolete) Quickly, eagerly, impetuously.
  • * 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , II.iii:
    The seely man seeing him ryde so rancke , / And ayme at him, fell flat to ground for feare [...].
  • * Fairfax
    That rides so rank and bends his lance so fell.
  • Etymology 2

    (etyl) , which is of uncertain origin.Akin to (etyl) . More at (ring).


    (en noun)

  • A row of people or things organized in a grid pattern, often soldiers [the corresponding term for the perpendicular columns in such a pattern is "file"].
    The front rank''' kneeled to reload while the second '''rank fired over their heads.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1907, author=, title=The Dust of Conflict, chapter=7 citation, passage=Then there was no more cover, for they straggled out, not in ranks but clusters, from among orange trees and tall, flowering shrubs
  • # (chess) one of the eight horizontal lines of squares on a chessboard [the corresponding term for a vertical line is "file"].
  • (music) In a pipe organ, a set of pipes of a certain quality for which each pipe corresponds to one key or pedal.
  • One's position in a list sorted by a shared property such as physical location, population, or quality
    Based on your test scores, you have a rank of 23.
    The fancy hotel was of the first rank.
  • (class)The level of one's position in a class-based society
  • a level in an organization such as the military
    Private First Class (PFC) is the lowest rank in the Marines.
    He rose up through the ranks of the company from mailroom clerk to CEO.
  • (taxonomy) a level in a scientific taxonomy system
    Phylum is the taxonomic rank below kingdom and above class.
  • (linear algebra) Maximal number of linearly independent columns (or rows) of a matrix.
  • The dimensionality of an array (computing) or tensor (mathematics).
  • (chess) one of the eight horizontal lines of squares on a chessboard (i.e., those which run from letter to letter). The analog vertical lines are the files .
  • Derived terms

    * break rank* close ranks* pull rank


    (en verb)

  • To place abreast, or in a line.
  • To have a ranking.
    Their defense ranked third in the league.
  • To assign a suitable place in a class or order; to classify.
  • * I. Watts
    Ranking all things under general and special heads.
  • * Broome
    Poets were ranked in the class of philosophers.
  • * Dr. H. More
    Heresy is ranked with idolatry and witchcraft.
  • (US) To take rank of; to outrank.
  • Anagrams

    ***English intensifiers----


    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) (m), from (etyl) .


  • To intend.
  • # (label) To intend, to plan (to do); to have as one's intention.
  • # (label) To have intentions of a given kind.
  • #
  • To convey meaning.
  • # (label) To convey (a given sense); to signify, or indicate (an object or idea).
  • #* {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-01, volume=407, issue=8838, page=5 (Technology Quarterly), magazine=(The Economist), title= A better waterworks, passage=An artificial kidney these days still means a refrigerator-sized dialysis machine. Such devices mimic the way real kidneys cleanse blood and eject impurities and surplus water as urine.}}
  • # (label) Of a word, symbol etc: to have reference to, to signify.
  • #*
  • A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means'. This in turn leads to the somewhat more formal guideline of including a term if it is '''attested''' and ' idiomatic .
  • (label) To have conviction in (something said or expressed); to be sincere in (what one says).
  • (label) To result in; to bring about.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2012, date=May 19, author=Paul fletcher, work=BBC Sport, title= Blackpool 1-2 West Ham, passage=It was a goal that meant West Ham won on their first appearance at Wembley in 31 years, in doing so becoming the first team since Leicester in 1996 to bounce straight back to the Premier League through the play-offs.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2014-06-14, volume=411, issue=8891, magazine=(The Economist), title= It's a gas, passage=One of the hidden glories of Victorian engineering is proper drains.
  • (label) To be important (to).
  • Synonyms

    * (convey, signify, indicate ): convey, indicate, signify* (want or intend to convey ): imply, mean to say* (intend; plan on doing ): intend* (have conviction in what one says ): be serious* (have intentions of a some kind ):* (result in; bring about ): bring about, cause, lead to, result in

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) (m), (m), from (etyl) ((etyl) (m)).



  • (obsolete) Common; general.
  • Of a common or low origin, grade, or quality; common; humble.
  • Low in quality or degree; inferior; poor; shabby.
  • Without dignity of mind; destitute of honour; low-minded; spiritless; base.
    a mean motive
  • * Dryden
    Can you imagine I so mean could prove, / To save my life by changing of my love?
  • Of little value or account; worthy of little or no regard; contemptible; despicable.
  • * J. Philips
    The Roman legions and great Caesar found / Our fathers no mean foes.
  • Niggardly; penurious; miserly; stingy.
  • Disobliging; pettily offensive or unaccommodating; small.
  • Selfish; acting without consideration of others; unkind.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess), chapter=20 citation, passage=The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen. No one queried it. It was in the classic pattern of human weakness, mean and embarrassing and sad.}}
  • Causing or intending to cause intentional harm; bearing ill will towards another; cruel; malicious.
  • Powerful; fierce; harsh; damaging.
  • Accomplished with great skill; deft; hard to compete with.
  • (informal, often, childish) Difficult, tricky.
  • Synonyms

    * (causing or intending to cause intentional harm ): cruel, malicious, nasty, spiteful* See also* (acting without consideration of others ): selfish, unkind, vile, ignoble* (powerful ): damaging, fierce, harsh, strong* (accomplished with great skill; deft; hard to compete with''): deft, skilful (''UK''), skillful (''US ), top-notch* (inferior''): cheap, grotty (slang), inferior, low-quality, naff (''UK slang ), rough and ready, shoddy, tacky (informal)

    Derived terms

    * meandom* meanie* meanness* meany

    Etymology 3

    From (etyl) (m), from (etyl) (m) ((etyl) (m)), . Cognate with (m).



  • Having the mean (see noun below ) as its value.
  • (obsolete) Middling; intermediate; moderately good, tolerable.
  • *, II.ii.2:
    I have declared in the causes what harm costiveness hath done in procuring this disease; if it be so noxious, the opposite must needs be good, or mean at least, as indeed it is[…].
  • * Sir Philip Sidney
    being of middle age and a mean stature
  • * Milton
    according to the fittest style of lofty, mean , or lowly
  • Derived terms

    * mean distance* mean time* mean solar time* mean sun

    Related terms

    * medium* mediate* mediation* mediator* median* mediocre* mediocrity


    (wikipedia mean)(en noun)

  • * 1603 , John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays , II.5:
    To say truth, it is a meane full of uncertainty and danger.
  • * Coleridge
    You may be able, by this mean , to review your own scientific acquirements.
  • * Sir W. Hamilton
    Philosophical doubt is not an end, but a mean .
  • * 2011 , "Rival visions", The Economist , 14 Apr 2011:
    Mr Obama produced an only slightly less ambitious goal for deficit reduction than the House Republicans, albeit working from a more forgiving baseline: $4 trillion over 12 years compared to $4.4 trillion over 10 years. But the means by which he would achieve it are very different.
  • (obsolete, in the singular) An intermediate step or intermediate steps.
  • * a.'' 1563 , Thomas Harding, "To the Reader", in ''The Works of John Jewel (1845 ed.)
    Verily in this treatise this hath been mine only purpose; and the mean to bring the same to effect hath been such as whereby I studied to profit wholesomely, not to please delicately.
  • * 1606 , The Trials of Robert Winter, Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Rob. Keyes, Thomas Bates, and Sir Everard Digby, at Westminster, for High Treason, being Conspirators in the Gunpowder-Plot
    That it was lawful and meritorious to kill and destroy the king, and all the said hereticks. — The mean to effect it, they concluded to be, that, 1. The king, the queen, the prince, the lords spiritual and temporal, the knights and burgoses of the parliament, should be blown up with powder. 2. That the whole royal issue male should be destroyed. S. That they would lake into their custody Elizabeth and Mary the king's daughters, and proclaim the lady Elizabeth queen. 4. That they should feign a Proclamation in the name of Elizabeth, in which no mention should be made of alteration of religion, nor that they were parties to the treason, until they had raised power to perform the same; and then to proclaim, all grievances in the kingdom should be reformed.
  • * a.'' 1623 ,
    Apply desperate physic: / We must not now use balsamum, but fire, / The smarting cupping-glass, for that's the mean / To purge infected blood, such blood as hers.
  • Something which is intermediate or in the middle; an intermediate value or range of values; a medium.
  • *
  • *
  • * 1875 , William Smith and Samuel Cheetham, editors, A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities'', , volume 1, page 10, s.v. ''Accentus Ecclesiasticus ,
    It presents a sort of mean between speech and song, continually inclining towards the latter, never altogether leaving its hold on the former; it is speech, though always attuned speech, in passages of average interest and importance; it is song, though always distinct and articulate song, in passages demanding more fervid utterance.
  • * 1624 , John Smith, Generall Historie , in Kupperman 1988, p. 147:
    Of these [rattles] they have Base, Tenor, Countertenor, Meane , and Treble.
  • (statistics) The average of a set of values, calculated by summing them together and dividing by the number of terms; the arithmetic mean.
  • (mathematics) Any function of multiple variables that satisfies certain properties and yields a number representative of its arguments; or, the number so yielded; a measure of central tendency.
  • * 1997 , Angus Deaton, The Analysis of Household Surveys: A Microeconometric Approach to Development Policy , ] World Bank Publications, ISBN 9780801852541, [http://books.google.com/books?id=5Lp_p6bLD2IC&pg=PA51&dq=mean page 51:
    Note that (1.41) is simply the probability-weighted mean without any explicit allowance for the stratification; each observation is weighted by its inflation factor and the total divided by the total of the inflation factors for the survey.
  • * 2002 , Clifford A. Pickover, The Mathematics of Oz: Mental Gymnastics from Beyond the Edge , Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521016780, page 246:
    Luckily, even though the arithmetic mean' is unusable, both the harmonic and geometric ' means settle to precise values as the amount of data increases.
  • * 2003 , P. S. Bullen, Handbook of Means and Their Inequalities , Springer, ISBN 978-1-4020-1522-9, page 251:
    The generalized power means' include power '''means''', certain Gini '''means''', in particular the counter-harmonic ' means .
  • (mathematics) Either of the two numbers in the middle of a conventionally presented proportion, as 2'' and ''3'' in ''1:2=3:6 .
  • * 1825 , John Farrar, translator, An Elementary Treatise on Arithmetic by Silvestre François Lacroix, third edition, page 102,
    ...if four numbers be in proportion, the product of the first and last, or of the two extremes, is equal to the product of the second and third, or of the two means .
  • * 1999 , Dawn B. Sova, How to Solve Word Problems in Geometry , McGraw-Hill, ISBN 007134652X, page 85,
    Using the means'-extremes property of proportions, you know that the product of the extremes equals the product of the '''means'''. The ratio ''t''/4= 5/2 can be rewritten as ''t'':4= 5:2, in which the extremes are ''t'' and 2, and the ' means are 4 and 5.
  • * 2007 , Carolyn C. Wheater, Homework Helpers: Geometry , Career Press, ISBN 1564147215, page 99,
    In \frac{18}{27}=\frac23, the product of the means is 2\cdot27, and the product of the extremes is 18\cdot3. Both products are 54.
  • Hypernyms

    * (statistics) measure of central tendency, measure of location, sample statistic

    Coordinate terms

    * (statistics) median, mode

    See also

    * (statistics) spread, range

    Derived terms

    * arithmetic mean** Chisini mean* contraharmonic mean* generalised f -mean* generalized f -mean* geometric mean* harmonic mean* Heronian mean** logarithmic mean* power mean* quadratic mean* quasi-arithmetic mean* root mean square

    Etymology 4

    From (etyl) (m), from (etyl) ; see (l).


  • To complain, lament.
  • To pity; to comfort.
  • * 1485 , Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur , Book XII:
    Anone he meaned hym, and wolde have had hym home unto his ermytage.
  • Statistics



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