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)

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No brisket, rib-eye, sirloin, flank or any of the other primal cuts on the site’s Instagram feed. New York Times, "Epicurious Has a Beef With Beef," 27 Apr. 2021 But orbiting the focus on middle-class America is a China policy flank that spans the origins of the coronavirus, trade, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and a fight for influence abroad. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "China orbits White House security agenda at 100 days," 27 Apr. 2021 The seven ships were flying in a Paataatus guard configuration: the frigate in the center with a cruiser on either flank and two cruisers each in a line in front and astern of it. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Star Wars favorite Thrawn faces an unusual threat in exclusive excerpt from Ascendancy Trilogy's 2nd novel," 26 Apr. 2021 The 2018 eruption occurred along a rift zone on the volcano's flank where many residential neighborhoods had been developed. Fox News, "Volcano erupts on Hawaii's Big Island, draws crowds to park," 23 Dec. 2020 Washington State mounted its stand defensively and Tyler Shough and Travis Dye made sure Oregon capitalized on an open flank. oregonlive, "'If I’m even, I’m leaving’: Oregon Ducks RB Travis Dye calls his shot on game-breaking 71-yard touchdown at Washington State," 15 Nov. 2020 Georgia politicos Stacy Abrams and Keisha Lance Bottoms flank Barack Obama like the Wakanda warriors in Marvel’s Black Panther. Armond White, National Review, "America Assembled Epitomizes Hollywood Political Junk," 11 Nov. 2020 But even if there are critical parts of the Republican apparatus at war, the activist flank of the party remains firmly behind Trump. Elaina Plott, BostonGlobe.com, "CPAC takeaways: Trump dominates, and DeSantis and Noem stand out," 28 Feb. 2021 Every mountain highway up the western flank of the Sierra Nevada range leads to staging areas, trailheads or winter road closures that can provide launch points for unforgettable treks through the snow. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Top 5 snow treks in the Sierra near Tahoe and Yosemite," 4 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb An all-wheel-drive version dubbed the Q4 50 e-tron as well as a shorter range 35 model will flank it, although the latter won’t be offered in the U.S. market. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, "Audi’s attractively priced new electric vehicles poised to take on Tesla," 14 Apr. 2021 Woven Tongva baskets flank the bridge spanning the eastbound 210 in Arcadia. Priscella Vega, Los Angeles Times, "Julia Bogany, venerated Tongva elder who fought for her tribe’s recognition, dies," 14 Apr. 2021 The brothers, whose relationship has been strained amid Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California, will flank their cousin Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne. Time, "Queen Sits Alone at Funeral for Prince Philip to Set Example," 17 Apr. 2021 The brothers, whose relationship has been strained amid Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California, will flank their cousin Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne. BostonGlobe.com, "Funeral to praise Philip’s ‘courage’ and support for queen," 17 Apr. 2021 Formal living and dining rooms flank the entryway and look onto the front of the property. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "Take a look inside this 6-bedroom, U-shaped Bluffview home on a private, landscaped lot," 25 Mar. 2021 During Jazz Fest, long rows of portable toilets flank the track’s infield — and by midafternoon, most of those portable toilets have lines. Alex Cortez, NOLA.com, "Ode to the porta-toilet," 4 Feb. 2021 Two long windows that flank the fireplace come up near that high. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$2.5M Ann Arbor home's landscape is replica of famous golf course grounds," 13 Mar. 2021 Two settee swings draped in white cotton flank the lobby entrance. Jennifer Kester, Forbes, "32 Stunning Hotel Lobbies," 19 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for flank

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flank. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flank

flank

noun

English Language Learners Definition of flank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the area on the side of an animal (such as a horse) between the ribs and the hip
: the right or left side of a military formation
: the side of something

flank

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flank (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be located on both sides of (something or someone)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flank

Nglish: Translation of flank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flank for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flank

What made you want to look up flank? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
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!