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break rank (or ranks)

Definition of break rank or ranks in English:

1(Of soldiers or police officers) fail to remain in line.
Example sentences
  • The colonel told the soldiers to break ranks and gather around him.
  • However, they were slowly overwhelmed, and left with no other choice, the soldiers broke ranks and retreated.
  • The soldiers would then break ranks and charge, raising their shields like the petals of a blooming flower.
1.1Fail to maintain solidarity: the government is prepared to break ranks with the Allied states
More example sentences
  • Some Republicans break ranks with the White House.
  • And many have refused to break ranks with tradition.
  • Then again, Malcolm, you probably wouldn't want to break ranks with your Fairfax colleagues.
See parent entry: rank

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