It is a basic unit of biological classification, and a formal rank in taxonomy.
When an affair of honor is involved, formal ranks are discarded.
He had the title, although not the formal rank, of "acting brigadier general."
But many of those groups have formal ranks and initiation rituals.
Everyone, even noble passengers of greater formal rank, were under his jurisdiction.
He was reluctant to accept but finally agreed to do so provided his wife was given equal formal rank with him.
Istvan couldn't come down hard on him for talking back, anyhow - a disadvantage of lacking formal rank.
The published classification deliberately did not use formal taxonomic ranks, including that of "kingdom".
During the Empire, the right to wear it was sometimes bestowed as an honor independent of formal rank.
He is a student who will become a soldier - either an officer, or at his formal rank.