Out of Range: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 10, 2023

The phrase "out of range" denotes a situation, opportunity, or unreachable or unattainable object. This unattainability can stem from physical, technological, or metaphorical boundaries. Therefore, anything deemed "out of range" signifies a degree of inaccessibility or unreachability.

In short:

"Out of range" refers to something that is beyond the limits or scope of a specific area, system, or device.

What Does "Out of Range" Mean?

The phrase emphasizes circumstances, opportunities, or objects that are beyond one's reach or ability to influence. It carries with it a sense of limitation and boundary.

Let's examine its core meanings and associated usages:

  • Primarily, it signifies something that is unreachable due to physical, technological, or metaphorical constraints.
  • It is often used in the context of communication technology, navigation, and physical distances.
  • It could imply an unattainable situation or opportunity due to its metaphorical "distance" or inaccessibility.

Where Does "Out of Range" Come From?

The phrase "out of range" likely originated from the context of weaponry, particularly in reference to the maximum distance a projectile can travel from a weapon. As technology evolved, the phrase became common in the field of communications to describe devices or systems that were beyond the reach of a signal.

Historical Example

"Smith's sharpshooters now began to peg away at the rebels, and they soon fell back out of range."

- The Rebellion Record, 1863

10 Examples of "Out of Range" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • The WiFi signal is weak here, so our devices are out of range.
  • Let's start from scratch, step out of our comfort zone, and venture out of range to find new opportunities.
  • The hiking trail was out of range of the cellular network.
  • Have a safe trip! Make sure you have the necessary tools in case the road takes you out of range.
  • The drone flew out of range, and we lost control of it.
  • Despite being stuck in traffic, let's keep our spirits high and remember that our destination awaits just out of range.
  • The price of the antique chair was out of range for the average customer.
  • It's easy to lose our way, but by recalibrating our focus, we can get back on track and reach new heights that were previously out of range.
  • To move forward, we must let go of what holds us back and bravely step out of range.
  • My dream house is unfortunately out of range at the moment.

Examples of "Out of Range" in Pop Culture

The phrase "out of range" often appears in media related to technology, travel, and situations that involve physical or metaphorical boundaries.

Let's look at some examples:

  • "Out of Range" is a song by the American rock band Brand New, which metaphorically uses the phrase to indicate emotional inaccessibility.
  • The book "Out of Range" by C. J. Box is a suspenseful thriller from the bestselling Joe Pickett series.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Out of Range"

There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "out of range."

Some of these include:

  • Beyond reach
  • Unattainable
  • Inaccessible
  • Unreachable
  • Off-limits

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Out of Range":

  • What does "out of range" mean?

"Out of range" refers to something that is beyond the limits or scope of a certain area, system, or device. It could also mean something is inaccessible or unreachable.

  • How can I use "out of range" in a sentence?

You can use "out of range" to indicate that something is not within reach, either physically or metaphorically. For example, "The remote island is out of range for most travelers."

  • Where does the idiom "out of range" come from?

The phrase likely originated from the context of weaponry and evolved to be used in the field of communications to describe devices or systems that were beyond the reach of a signal.

  • Does the phrase always imply physical distance?

No, it can refer to metaphorical or abstract boundaries, such as inaccessibility due to financial constraints or technological limitations.

  • Can people use the phrase casually?

Yes, it is used in both formal and casual contexts.

  • Is the phrase only applicable to technology?

No, the phrase "out of range" can refer to physical distances, opportunities, or situations that are unreachable.

  • Can people use the phrase metaphorically?

Yes, as in "His expectations are out of range for our current capabilities."

  • Is it okay to use the phrase to express limitations?

Yes, the phrase is commonly used to convey limitations or boundaries.

  • What's the difference between "out of range" and "out of reach"?

"Out of range" typically conveys a broader scope, often used in technological or geographical contexts, whereas "out of reach" is often used for smaller or more personal distances or barriers.

  • Can one use the phrase in a professional context?

Yes, "out of range" is frequently used in professional contexts to indicate areas or topics that are beyond the scope of a project or discussion.

Final Thoughts About "Out of Range"

The idiom "out of range" indicates that something is beyond the limits or scope of a certain area, system, or device. It is used to convey limitations, boundaries, and inaccessibility, suggesting something that is not reachable or attainable.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It refers to something that is not within reach or beyond boundaries.
  • Its origin likely traces back to weaponry and has evolved in the context of communication systems.
  • It can be used in a variety of contexts and situations, reflecting its flexibility and applicability.

Whether it's a signal that's too weak, a place that's too far, or an expectation that's too high, if it's "out of range," it's beyond what's currently attainable. It's a phrase that effectively communicates the limits of an action or situation, contributing to the diversity of the English language.

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