rank and file
rank and file definition by Webster's New World
- the body of soldiers of an army, as distinguished from the officers
- the common people, as distinguished from leaders or officials; specif., the ordinary members of a labor union, political party, etc., as opposed to its leaders
rank and file definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- The enlisted troops, excluding noncommissioned officers, in an army.
- The people who form the major portion of a group, organization, or society, excluding the leaders and officers.
- rankˈ-and-fileˈ adjective
rank and file - Business Definition
rank and file - Cultural Definition
The people who form the major portion of any group or organization, excluding the leaders: “The rumors of corruption at the top disturbed the party's rank and file.” This phrase comes from military usage, where enlisted men march in ranks (close abreast) and files (one behind another), whereas officers march outside these formations.