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noun pha·lanx \ˈfā-ˌlaŋ(k)s, British usually ˈfa-\

Simple Definition of phalanx

  • : a large group of people, animals, or things often placed close together

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of phalanx

plural phalanxes or phalanges play \fə-ˈlan-(ˌ)jēz, fā-, ˈfā-ˌ, British usually fa-\

  1. 1 :  a body of heavily armed infantry in ancient Greece formed in close deep ranks and files; broadly :  a body of troops in close array

  2. 2 plural phalanges :  one of the digital bones of the hand or foot of a vertebrate

  3. 3 plural usually phalanxes a :  a massed arrangement of persons, animals, or things <a phalanx of armed guards> b :  an organized body of persons <a phalanx of lawyers>

Examples of phalanx in a sentence

  1. A solid phalanx of armed guards stood in front of the castle.

  2. She had to go through a phalanx of television cameras.

Did You Know?

The original sense of "phalanx" refers to a military formation that was used in ancient warfare and consisted of a tight block of soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder, several rows deep, often with shields joined. The word phalanx comes from the Greeks, though they were not the only ones who used this formation. The Greek term literally means "log" and was used for both this line of battle and for a bone in a finger or toe. The word and its senses passed into Latin and then were adopted into English in the 16th century. These days, a "phalanx" can be any arranged mass, whether of persons, animals, or things, or a body of people organized in a particular effort.

Origin of phalanx

Latin phalang-, phalanx, from Greek, battle line, digital bone, literally, log — more at balk

First Known Use: 1553

Rhymes with phalanx

Medical Dictionary


play play
noun pha·lanx \ˈfā-ˌlaŋ(k)s, British usually ˈfal-ˌaŋ(k)s\

Medical Definition of phalanx

plural phalanges \fə-ˈlan-(ˌ)jēz, fā-, ˈfā-ˌ, British usually fal-ˈan-\play

  1. :  any of the digital bones of the hand or foot distal to the metacarpus or metatarsus of a vertebrate that in humans are three to each finger and toe with the exception of the thumb and big toe which have only two each

Illustration of phalanx

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to expose to danger or risk

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