Etymology: Middle English rechen, from Old English rǣcan; akin to Old High German reichen to reach, Lithuanian raižytis to stretch oneself
Date: before 12th century
a. to stretch out ; extend
a. to touch or grasp by extending a part of the body (as a hand) or an object <couldn't reach the apple> b. to pick up and draw toward one ; take c. (1) to extend to <the shadow reached the wall> (2) to get up to or as far as ; come to <your letter reached me yesterday> <his voice reached the last rows> <they hoped to reach an agreement> d. (1) encompass (2) to make an impression on (3) to communicate with 3. to hand over ; pass intransitive verb 1. a. to make a stretch with or as if with one's hand b. to strain after something 2. a. project, extend <his land reaches to the river> b. to arrive at or come to something <as far as the eye could reach> 3. to sail on a reach • reachable adjective • reacher noun II. noun Date: 1536 1. a continuous stretch or expanse; especially a straight portion of a stream or river 2. a. (1) the action or an act of reaching (2) an individual part of a progression or journey b. (1) a reachable distance <within reach> (2) ability to reach <had a long reach> c. an extent or range especially of knowledge or comprehension 3. a bearing shaft or coupling pole; especially the rod joining the hind axle to the forward bolster of a wagon 4. the tack sailed by a ship with the wind coming just forward of the beam or with the wind directly abeam or abaft the beam 5. echelon, level — usually used in plural <the upper reaches of academia>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.