She gently patted the horse's flank.
They attacked the enemy on both flanks.
the eastern flank of a volcano Verb
the guards flank the center on a football team's offensive line
Recent Examples on the Web
But House Speaker Mike Johnson isn't facing similar public threats from the right flank of his party.—Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 17 Nov. 2023 This self-winding movement chimes on demand, on two classic gongs, the hour, quarters, and minutes elapsed since the last quarter all by a simple press of the slide-piece set into the left flank of the case.—Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 15 Nov. 2023 The legislation represents a major compromise from Johnson, who eschewed calls from the far-right flank of the GOP conference to slash federal spending or add controversial policy provisions that Democrats and some Republicans reject.—Marianna Sotomayor, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2023 Commanded by Major Charles W. Whittlesey, these tired, cold and hungry soldiers were fulfilling orders to push forward even if their flanks were not covered.—Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Nov. 2023 But, others say, Johnson risks boxing himself into the same predicament his predecessor faced — by allowing his hard-right flank to dictate the starting point of negotiations without leaving room to make concessions.—Marianna Sotomayor, Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2023 The Spanish arrived in the 17th century, followed by the Dutch, who operated a branch of the East India Company on the island’s western flank until they were forced out by the Ming general Koxinga and by the Indigenous Wu-lao-wan tribe, which defended its territory fiercely.—Alexandra Kleeman, Travel + Leisure, 29 Oct. 2023 When one of the volcano's flanks slipped, the effect was like uncorking a bottle of champagne: The sudden release of pressure allowed the gas in the magma system to expand, resulting in a huge explosion.—Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Oct. 2023 Scalise's announcement late Thursday came amid mounting opposition to his candidacy from the fractured GOP conference's right flank, effectively preventing him from being able to secure the 217 votes needed to win the gavel in a vote on the House floor.—Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 13 Oct. 2023
That much was evident at this week’s APEC event, which was flanked by multiple protests—some even attempted to block attendees from entering the venue, and others shut down traffic on the nearby Bay Bridge.—Michal Lev-Ram, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2023 The samurai Mizu stands backed up to the edge of a seaside cliff, flanked by four master swordsman known as the Four Fangs.—Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 9 Nov. 2023 French tips in autumnal shades are flanked by solid midnight blue polish, an unexpected and impactful touch.—Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 22 Oct. 2023 The tomb just within the high cemetery gates of the Panteón Municipal de Pátzcuaro, flanked by sunflowers in twin blue vases, holds all that can be found of Ulises Anwar Ayala Andrade.—Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Beador addressed the issue flanked by fellow cast members Tamra Judge, Emily Simpson, Gina Kirschenheiter, Heather Durrow, Jennifer Pedant, Taylor Armstrong and Vicki Gunvalson.—Matt Donnelly, Variety, 3 Nov. 2023 To top it off, the sundeck sports a 10-foot Jacuzzi flanked by sun pads.—Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 2 Nov. 2023 Her life was, for a time, quintessentially Southern, flanked by the twin pillars of family and faith.—Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2023 The interior is pretty radical, with a yoke steering wheel flanked by rectangular displays and a narrow dashboard.—Daniel Golson, The Verge, 27 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flank.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Noun and Verb
Middle English, from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hlanca loin, flank — more at lank
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a