rank and file

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - rank and file

"rank and file"

the non-management workers in a company or the non-leadership members of a political party


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - rank and file

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Have you heard that Ted is getting promoted from the rank and file to a position in middle management?

Colleague 2: Good for Ted. He hasn't had much schooling, but his years among the workers have taught him enough to work his way up.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - rank and file

Two coworkers are talking ...

Coworker 1: I heard that the union leaders have finished their high-level meeting.

Coworker 2: Oh ya? What do they want us workaday factory people to do?

Coworker 1: They are asking us rank-and-file members to vote against the new contract that the company is offering.

Coworker 2: I guess the leadership knows best so we should vote against the new contract.

Test Your Understanding  

rank and file - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   3,115   click for frequency by country

rank and file - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for rank and file.

rank and file - Examples:

1)  The strike bubbled up from the rank and file! As the membership's voice was heard, they expressed their anger ...

2)  ... was true of most of the non-commissioned officers and of a large number of the rank and file.

3)  For weeks I've been working with House leaders and rank and file members of both parties to try to build a bipartisan coalition to get ...

4)  The amendment movement has yet to recruit such a task force. The rank and file should wonder at the ability of leaders of the movement make stirring noises ...

5)  ... may adopt different cognitive maps of organizational values and assumptions than those adopted by rank and file employees.

6)  ... seeking a seat at the table rather than providing a clear party-in-exile alternative, the rank and file members, investors and grassroots activists must demand changes.

7)  I was a corporate trainer, relaying the message to the rank and file

8)  For the rank and file of modern Church members it is difficult to understand.

9)  Anything like that in the context of tens of thousands of rank and file workers marching in the street, in my mind, was undoubtedly done ...

10)  Griffith told the council when announcing his donation, "a resort for the rank and file, for the plain people."

11)  The same applies to war crimes. These are invariably committed by the rank and file, never by their officers.

12)  As each firm has its favorite buzzwords, it also has unique terminology for its rank and file.

13)  ... the workplace and include millions of workers and civil servants in their membership. The rank and file members are engaged in daily struggles over improving work conditions via negotiations, ...

14)  Of those who had been leaders many had emigrated. Many of the rank and file had either gone away or been frightened by the greater vehemence of the ...

15)  We can start with the body of the electorate -- the rank and file voters.

16)  The corporate rank-and-file across America will suddenly cost their employers thousands more than they did before, ...

17)  But many rank-and-file Republicans in Congress and grass-roots activists won't sanction amnesty for undocumented immigrants, ...

18)  The speaker will start outlining the finished package to the rest of her rank-and-file in a meeting Thursday morning.

19)  The flexing of Tea Party/grass-roots muscle is a reminder that the rank-and-file are a force never to be taken for granted. 

20)  Repression was necessary to "mobilize not only the rank-and-file citizens but also the ruling elite."