Definition of ranch in English:

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Pronunciation: /ran(t)SH/


1A large farm, especially in the western US and Canada, where cattle or other animals are bred and raised.
Example sentences
  • Most of them are being raised like cattle on big ranches to provide beef for buffalo burgers.
  • All these attributes make alfalfa a highly desirable crop for many farms and ranches.
  • Here's some footage of my wife, Nellie, taken at a recent cattle sale at our ranch.
1.1 (also ranch house) North American A single-story, sometimes split-level, house, typically with a low-pitched roof.
Example sentences
  • His home is a simple ranch house with sheets for curtains and an unattractive brown lawn.
  • I suddenly was struck by how much his ranch house contrasted to my dingy apartment.
  • The first house that I had a mortgage for was a ranch house in Edison, New Jersey.
2North American ( trademark in the UK) short for ranch dressing.
Example sentences
  • I skip the butter and sour cream and opt for broccoli or lowfat or nonfat ranch dressing.
  • I try not to get into them too often, but what I will nibble on are pretzels dipped in ranch dressing.
  • So fill in by serving baby carrots or sliced red or green peppers or cucumbers with light ranch dressing.


[no object] (often as noun ranching)
1Run a ranch: cattle ranching
More example sentences
  • She makes a living applying animal psychology research to fields like cattle ranching.
  • If I hadn't been so good at the family business I would take up cattle ranching.
  • A large part of its economy is dependent on agriculture and cattle ranching.
1.1 [with object] (often as adjective ranched) Breed (animals) on a ranch.
Example sentences
  • Farmers fatten livestock for the market so why don't fishermen ranch fish?
  • Many carnivores, such as mink, seal, fox, and bobcat, have long been hunted or ranched for their fur.
  • The Epperson's way of pasture ranching horses allows the horses to learn herd behavior and grow up in nature's elements.
1.2 [with object] Use (land) as a ranch.
Example sentences
  • The ranch is still the original tract patented to Henry Freisen in 1836 and has been ranched continuously ever since that time.


Early 19th century: from Spanish rancho 'group of persons eating together'.

  • The ranch featuring in many Westerns appears in American sources from the early 19th century and comes from Spanish rancho, ‘a group of people eating together’. The phrase meanwhile back at the ranch was originally used in cowboy stories to introduce a subsidiary plot.

Words that rhyme with ranch

blanch, Blanche, branch, tranche

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ranch

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