flank

noun
\ ˈflaŋk How to pronounce flank (audio) \

Definition of flank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the fleshy part of the side between the ribs and the hip broadly : the side of a quadruped She gently patted the horse's flank.
b : a cut of meat from this part of an animal — see beef illustration
2a : side the eastern flank of a volcano
b : the right or left of a formation attacked the enemy on both flanks
3 : the area along either side of a heraldic shield

flank

verb
flanked; flanking; flanks

Definition of flank (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to be situated at the side of especially : to be situated on both sides of a road flanked with linden trees
b : to place something on each side of
2 : to protect a flank of
3 : to attack or threaten the flank of (as a body of troops)

Examples of flank in a Sentence

Noun 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: Noun And so yeah, just your typical flank view shot can be pretty nondescript. Ashleigh Papp, Scientific American, 24 June 2022 Meanwhile Republicans are continuing to tie Democrats to the movement to defund the police in the hopes of magnifying rhetoric from the party’s left flank to frame candidates as too liberal. Alexandra Marquez, NBC News, 15 June 2022 On the other flank, Marcus Epps has managed just a goal and an assist in 966 minutes. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 5 June 2022 Cuellar, who has become an increasingly vocal critic of progressives the past couple of years, has accused the party’s left flank of alienating voters in South Texas, where the GOP has made gains in recent elections. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, 15 Feb. 2022 Salt River Vaulters start their beginners with compulsory exercises including vault-on, flag, stand and flank, moves that can help the athletes’ physical and mental growth. Mary Grace Grabill, The Arizona Republic, 17 May 2022 His ability to operate down the right flank, or the halfspace on that side, in support of right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold led to some of his best and most consistent performances for the club. James Nalton, Forbes, 31 Oct. 2021 Officials in Beijing worry that extremists could use Afghanistan to regroup on China’s flank and sow violence around the region, even as the Taliban look to deep-pocketed countries like China for aid and investment. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Aug. 2021 Officials in Beijing worry that extremists could use Afghanistan to regroup on China’s flank and sow violence around the region, even as the Taliban look to deep-pocketed countries like China for aid and investment. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Across the room, two demilune chests flank the entrance, with two identical mirrors above them, reflecting the herons. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 30 May 2022 The pair of ePerformance test cars flank the Mission R concept. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 16 May 2022 Commerce focuses on a small strip where a barber shop and a liquor store flank a convenience store where residents can get snack foods, buy lottery tickets and fill their cars with gasoline. Tom Foreman Jr., USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 In its wake, the hurricane destroyed the vast majority of mangrove forests that flank Mosquito Bay and other parts of Puerto Rico’s coastline. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Apr. 2022 The pair of 8-meter-long sphinxes flank the entrance to a processional avenue, which celebrants would have followed from the main part of the temple to a columned courtyard. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 27 Jan. 2022 The dry forests of Bolivia, which flank the eastern Andes with shrubs and dense thicket, are critically endangered. Nell Lewis, CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 The Russian army moved to flank Grozny on three sides and unleashed a terrifying onslaught of air and artillery strikes on the city. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 It was rationalized as wanting a veteran presence to flank Wood on the frontline. Rahat Huq, Chron, 11 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of flank

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for flank

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hlanca loin, flank — more at lank

Learn More About flank

Time Traveler for flank

Time Traveler

The first known use of flank was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near flank

flangeway

flank

flank angle

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for flank

Last Updated

2 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flank. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for flank

flank

noun
\ ˈflaŋk How to pronounce flank (audio) \

Kids Definition of flank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the area on the side of an animal between the ribs and the hip
2 : side entry 1 sense 3 the mountain's flank
3 : the right or left side of a formation (as of soldiers)

flank

verb
flanked; flanking

Kids Definition of flank (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to be located at the side of With two rats flanking him, the Father Abbot stepped forward …— Brian Jacques, Redwall
2 : to attack or threaten the side of We've flanked the enemy troops.

flank

noun
\ ˈflaŋk How to pronounce flank (audio) \

Medical Definition of flank

: the fleshy part of the side between the ribs and the hip broadly : the side of a quadruped

More from Merriam-Webster on flank

Nglish: Translation of flank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flank for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!