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Verb. From Middle English rechen, from Old English rǣċan (to reach), from Proto-West Germanic *raikijan, from Proto-Germanic *raikijaną, from the Proto-Indo-European *reyǵ- (to bind, reach).



reach (third-person singular simple present reachespresent participle reachingsimple past and past participle reached or (obsolete) raught)

  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. (transitive) Of a missile: to strike or touch.
    His bullet reached its intended target.
  6. (transitive, by extension) To extend an action, effort, or influence to; to penetrate to; to pierce, or cut.
  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.
  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.
  9. (transitive, figuratively) To make contact with.
    Synonyms: contactget hold ofget in touch
    I tried to reach you all day.
  10. (transitive, figuratively) To connect with (someone) on an emotional level, making them receptive of (one); to get through to (someone).
    What will it take for me to reach him?
  11. (intransitive, India, Singapore) To arrive at a particular destination.
  12. (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.
  13. (obsolete) To understand; to comprehend.
  14. To strain after something; to make (sometimes futile or pretentious) efforts.
    Reach for your dreams.
    Reach for the stars!
  15. (intransitive) To extend in dimension, time, etc.; to stretch out continuously (pastbeyondabovefrom, etc. something).
  16. (nautical) To sail on the wind, as from one point of tacking to another, or with the wind nearly abeam.


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
  3. The power of stretching out or extending action, influence, or the like; power of attainment or management; extent of force or capacity.
  4. Extent; stretch; expanse; hence, application; influence; result; scope.
  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. (nautical) Any point of sail in which the wind comes from the side of a vessel, excluding close-hauled.
  8. (nautical) The distance traversed between tacks.
  9. (nautical) A stretch of a watercourse which can be sailed in one reach (in the previous sense). An extended portion of water; a stretch; a straightish portion of a stream, river, or arm of the sea extending up into the land, as from one turn to another. By extension, the adjacent land.
  10. A level stretch of a watercourse, as between rapids in a river or locks in a canal. (examples?)
  11. An extended portion or area of land or water.
  12. (obsolete) An article to obtain an advantage.
  13. The pole or rod connecting the rear axle with the forward bolster of a wagon.
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