Language: Old English
Origin: ræcan


1 verb
reach1 S1 W1


[transitive] if someone or something reaches a particular point in their development, they get to that point
reach the point/level/stage etc
I had reached the point where I was earning a good salary.
The kids have reached the age when they can care for themselves.


[transitive] if something reaches a particular rate, amount etc, it increases until it is at that rate or amount:
By 2008, that figure is expected to reach 7 million.
wind speeds reaching up to 180 mph
Prices rose steadily to reach record levels.


[transitive] to successfully agree on something with other people
reach a decision/agreement etc
The theatre has reached an agreement with striking actors.
It took the jury three days to reach a verdict.
The talks will continue until a conclusion is reached.


a) [intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition] to move your arm in order to touch or lift something with your hand:
She reached into her bag and produced a business card.
He reached down to help her to her feet.
reach for
Kelly reached for his gun.
Luisa reached out her hand to stroke the cat.
b) [intransitive,transitive not in progressive] to touch something by stretching out your arm:
It's no good - I can't reach.
She's too small to reach the table.
c) [transitive] to get something from a high place by stretching up your arm
reach something down
She fell while reaching down a vase from the top shelf.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive not in progressive] to be big enough, long enough etc to get to a particular point:
The phone lead isn't long enough to reach the bedroom.
a skirt that reaches halfway down her legs
reach as far as something/reach down to something
Her hair reaches down to her waist.


[transitive] to arrive at a place:
We reached London late at night.
The pyramids can be reached by public transport.

speak to somebody

[transitive] if you reach someone, you succeed in speaking to them on the telephone [= contact]:
I can probably reach him on his mobile.

be seen/heard

[transitive] if a message, television programme etc reaches a lot of people, they hear it or see it:
Cable TV reaches a huge audience.


[transitive] if information reaches you, you hear about it:
The news reached us in Lahore.


[transitive] to succeed in making someone understand or accept what you tell them [= get through to]:
I just can't seem to reach Ed anymore.

reach for the stars

to aim for something that is very difficult to achieve

reach out to somebody

phrasal verb
to show people that you are interested in them and want to listen to them:
So far, his administration has failed to reach out to hardline Republicans.

Dictionary results for "reach"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.