Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rank adj.1

[ext. uses of SE rank, rancid, rotten, coarse or indecent]

1. (also ranky) foul-smelling.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rank, rammish, strong-scented, as all the Fetids, either Vegetables or Animals, as Garlick, Assafoetida, Polecats, Foxes, Goats, &c. And whatever is Stale, Corrupt, or Tainted, and Stinks, with long or careless Keeping.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
Nashville Dly Union (TN) 25 June 4/6: I [...] proceed to correct the first report of the battle, and all concerning the negro regiments except their rank — smell.
[US]Fayetteville Obs. (TN) 19 Nov. 1/1: The oil was found to be lamp oil, with a very rank smell.
Dly Yellowstone Jrnl (Miles City, MT) 26 Aug. 4/3: The skins are handsome enough, but have a strong and rank smell.
[US]Eve. Bull. (Maysville, KY) 27 Apr. 2/2: There is nothing known about ‘rank’ in Coxey’s army [of tramps] excepting it may be a rank smell .
[US]Hawaiian Star (Honolulu) 30 May 4/1: Old hounds know the scent of reynard, and are not to be deceived by the rank smell of the fishy substitute.
[US]Commoner (Lincoln, NE) 7 June 10/3: The rank smell of the day’s perspiration.
Bemidji D;y Pioneer (MN) 7 June 9/1: Hair [...] heavy and rank smelling with excessive oil.
[US]C. McKay Home to Harlem 114: Rose’s perfume made his nose itch. It was rank.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 186: It was going to be hot later, but in a nice refined exclusive sort of way [...] not sticky or rank like the heat of the city.
[WI]L.E. Adams Jam. Patois 47: Doan come sheg rohn mi wid yu rank fish an’ dem! – Don’t come fool around me with your raw-smelling fishy hands!
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 160: As I pass Keef’s bedroom a ranky kinda reek hits me.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) [Internet] Rank [...] 2. (adj.) Of bad smell.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 5: rank – disgustingly smelly.

2. (also rank-ass) second-rate, inferior, disgusting; also as intensifier.

[UK]N. Ward Wooden World 66: One would conclude him a rank Knave, because none of the Ship desire to have Dealings with him.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 99: I looked like a rank Knave.
[UK]Smollett Roderick Random (1979) 173: I thought this fellow was a rank Roman.
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 547: Among those whom he laid under contribution, was this lady, who with all the inclination of a rank sharper, had fallen sacrifice to his superior talents.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK]W. Scott Rob Roy (1883) 285: A sheep’s head ower muckle boiled is rank poison, as my worthy father used to say.
[Ire] ‘Do You See Anything Green About Me?’ Dublin Comic Songster 88: But the coin I gave him was rank bad – / So there was nothing green about me!
[US]National Police Gazette 25 Apr. 3/1–2: Little Ned [...] said that Bobby was the rankest flat he ever came across in his life.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 185/2: He was what a Yankee would call ‘a rank nigger’.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 229: A rank whore, there ne’er was a ranker.
[US]Wichita Eagle (KS) 11 Nov. 7/1: He’s likely after winning for a long time to get the notion that he’ll win just enough to buy a new suit. It’s almost invariably a rank hoodoo. Away will go his whole pile.
[UK]G. du Maurier Trilby 224: Life isn’t all beer and skittles for a rank outsider, I’m told!
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Apr. 1/2: ’Twas rank outragin’ fraud.
[Aus]Truth (Perth) 5 Oct. 11/6: As I sez, she were a rank ’un— / (Fairy multy anyhow).
[US]J. London Star Rover (1963) 124: He’s rank crazy on religion.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 63: If you was some kind of a rank dingbat you wouldn’t have been invited down here.
[US]Metronome Aug. 7: In my opinion, a great many readers of Met are the rankest sort of ickies.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US] ‘Hepster’s Dict.’ Mad mag. June 20: rank – stupid.
[US]Esquire Nov. 70J: rank: stupid.
[US]H. Rhodes Chosen Few (1966) 59: Damn! [...] I fell like a rank-ass amateur.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 62: You rank bitch, you know if you split I’ll find you.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Whoreson 240: I done did some rank things in my life.
[US]O. Hawkins Chili 25: My situation was rank punky, to say the least.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 448: One band wanted, The Velcro Puppets, wanted to pay £30,000 – but they were rank.

3. (W.I.) impertinent, extremely cheeky.

[WI]Allsopp Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.