reach

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See also: REACH

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English rechen, from Old English rǣċan (to reach), from Proto-Germanic *raikijaną, from the Proto-Indo-European *reyǵ- (to bind, reach). Cognate with Dutch reiken, German reichen.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

reach (third-person singular simple present reaches, present participle reaching, simple past and past participle reached)

  1. (intransitive) To extend, stretch, or thrust out (for example a limb or object held in the hand).
    He reached for a weapon that was on the table.
    He reached for his shoe with his legs.
  2. (transitive) To give to someone by stretching out a limb, especially the hand; to give with the hand; to pass to another person; to hand over.
    to reach one a book
  3. (intransitive) To stretch out the hand.
  4. (transitive) To attain or obtain by stretching forth the hand; to extend some part of the body, or something held, so as to touch, strike, grasp, etc.
    to reach an object with the hand, or with a spear
    “I can't quite reach the pepper, could you pass it to me?”
    The gun was stored in a small box on a high closet shelf, but the boy managed to reach it by climbing on other boxes.
  5. (intransitive) To strike or touch with a missile.
    He bullet reached its intended target.
  6. (transitive) Hence, to extend an action, effort, or influence to; to penetrate to; to pierce, or cut.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      Judge Short had gone to town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not gone with him when the distant notes of a coach horn reached my ear, and I descried a four-in-hand winding its way up the inn road from the direction of Mohair.
  7. (transitive) To extend to; to stretch out as far as; to touch by virtue of extent.
    his hand reaches the river
    When the forest reaches the river, you will be able to rest.
    • Milton
      Thy desire [] leads to no excess / That reaches blame.
  8. (transitive) To arrive at (a place) by effort of any kind
    After three years, he reached the position of manager.
    The climbers reached the top of the mountain after a gruelling ten-day hike.
    • Cheyne
      The best account of the appearances of nature which human penetration can reach, comes short of its reality.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      But Miss Thorn relieved the situation by laughing aloud, [] . By the time we reached the house we were thanking our stars she had come. Mrs. Cooke came out from under the port-cochere to welcome her.
  9. (transitive) To continue living until, or up to, a certain age.
    You can only access the inheritance money when you reach the age of 25.
  10. (obsolete) To understand; to comprehend.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      Do what, sir? I reach you not.
  11. (obsolete) To overreach; to deceive.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of South to this entry?)
  12. To strain after something; to make efforts.
    Reach for your dreams.
    Reach for the stars!
  13. (intransitive) To extend in dimension, time etc.; to stretch out continuously (past, beyond, above, from etc. something).
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, page 4:
      The Thembu tribe reaches back for twenty generations to King Zwide.
  14. (nautical) To sail on the wind, as from one point of tacking to another, or with the wind nearly abeam.
  15. To experience a vomiting reflex; to gag; to retch.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the past, raught, rought and retcht could be found as past tense forms; these are now obsolete, except perhaps in some dialects.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Noun[edit]

reach (plural reaches)

  1. The act of stretching or extending; extension.
  2. The ability to reach or touch with the person, a limb, or something held or thrown.
    The fruit is beyond my reach.
    to be within reach of cannon shot
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot Chapter VI
      [] and we have learned not to fire at any of the dinosaurs unless we can keep out of their reach for at least two minutes after hitting them in the brain or spine, or five minutes after puncturing their hearts—it takes them so long to die.
  3. The power of stretching out or extending action, influence, or the like; power of attainment or management; extent of force or capacity.
    • Hayward
      Drawn by others who had deeper reaches than themselves to matters which they least intended.
    • Alexander Pope
      Be sure yourself and your own reach to know.
  4. Extent; stretch; expanse; hence, application; influence; result; scope.
    • Milton
      And on the left hand, hell, / With long reach, interposed.
    • Shakespeare
      I am to pray you not to strain my speech / To grosser issues, nor to larger reach / Than to suspicion.
  5. (informal) An exaggeration; an extension beyond evidence or normal; a stretch.
    To call George eloquent is certainly a reach.
  6. (boxing) The distance a boxer's arm can extend to land a blow.
  7. An extended portion of land or water; a stretch; a straight portion of a stream or river, as from one turn to another; a level stretch, as between locks in a canal; an arm of the sea extending up into the land.
    • Tennyson
      The river's wooded reach.
    • Holland
      The coast [] is very full of creeks and reaches.
  8. (nautical) Any point of sail in which the wind comes from the side of a vessel, excluding close-hauled.
  9. (obsolete) An article to obtain an advantage.
    • Francis Bacon
      The Duke of Parma had particular reaches and ends of his own underhand to cross the design.
  10. The pole or rod connecting the rear axle with the forward bolster of a wagon.
  11. An effort to vomit; a retching.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for reach in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Statistics[edit]

Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: influence · March · whatever · #669: reach · secret · showed · ancient

Anagrams[edit]


West Frisian[edit]

Noun[edit]

reach

  1. Spider-web