flank

noun
\ ˈflaŋk \

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)

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Satellite images of the volcano taken over the past few days show a large segment of the volcano’s flank that is now missing, bolstering the idea that a huge landslide might have caused this tsunami. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Deadly Indonesian tsunami was not caused by an earthquake," 23 Dec. 2018 Chamberlain and his men held the Union Army's southern flank at Little Round Top. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Tuesday may deliver a triple-header of big launches to cap 2018," 17 Dec. 2018 The technical problem has no immediate impact on the country’s weather forecasts—beyond GOES-16, NOAA has two older geostationary satellites operating in orbit, one covering the country’s western flank and one serving as a backup. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Cooling failure threatens NOAA’s newest weather satellite," 23 May 2018 Ocasio-Cortez is a part of the new left flank of the Democratic Party that is fighting both Republicans and establishment Democrats (and, occasionally, the media) in advance of the fall midterms. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Why conservatives love to hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," 20 Aug. 2018 After a labored opening 2-1 win over Australia, France coach Didier Deschamps changed to a more resilient, somewhat lopsided formation with Mbappe given freedom to roam and run at defenders from the right flank. John Leicester, chicagotribune.com, "Five reasons why France will win the World Cup final," 14 July 2018 Three bedrooms and a full bath flank the hallway, while a surprisingly seamless addition at the back holds a master bedroom and new full bath, plus bay windows with seasonal views of Stony Brook Reservoir. Jon Gorey, BostonGlobe.com, "For sale: Bungalows in Needham and Weston," 18 May 2018 Since then, a hard-right flank of the Republican Party, led by White House senior adviser Stephen Miller and Cotton, pulled the president back from the center. Chris Strohm, Bloomberg.com, "GOP Sees Possible DACA Deal While Trump Bemoans Sticking Points," 15 Jan. 2018 Lava began flowing out of the volcano and down toward the mountain’s flank and across homes and roads around 4 p.m. Dramatic video showed a fast-moving lahar slamming into a bridge on a highway between Sacatepequez and Escuintla. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Guatemala volcano eruption kills at least 65, forces thousands to evacuate," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Although the performance was dedicated to Baldwin, at the end she was flanked by a large crowd (with an even larger one following on the internet). Vogue, "Justin Bieber Held an Impromptu Concert for Hailey Baldwin Outside Buckingham Palace," 19 Sep. 2018 She was flanked by her son, August, a budding fashion designer with a substantial spray tan, and by her daughter, Nats, a tattooed, terrifyingly no-nonsense artist and street wear entrepreneur. New York Times, "Growing Up Getty," 23 June 2018 They are flanked by eight rectangular canvasses that feature contemporary African-American adults standing behind a baby in a floating reed basket. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Artists explore American identity in Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit," 21 June 2018 She's flanked by six stern-looking adults, dressed in suits, arms crossed, and who appear to mean business. Rachel Siegel, chicagotribune.com, "Country Time lawyers give 'Legal-Ade' to squeezed lemonade stands," 12 June 2018 With justices seated by seniority, President Donald Trump’s two appointees will flank the Supreme Court bench, Justice Neil Gorsuch at one end and Kavanaugh at the other. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "Kavanaugh to hear first arguments as Supreme Court justice," 8 Oct. 2018 But barrier islands also flank much of the lower part of the state. Ben Finley, Fox News, "AP Explains: Why North Carolina is vulnerable to hurricanes," 12 Sep. 2018 Some flanked Ariana at a long table, reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, while others posed statuesquely by the massive pillars and majestic galaxy background behind the tableau. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's VMAs 2018 Performance of "God is a Woman" Was a Religious Experience," 21 Aug. 2018 Some flanked Grande at a long table, reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, while others posed by the massive pillars and galaxy background behind the tableau. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Ariana Grande's 2018 MTV VMAs Performance of "God Is a Woman" Featured 50 Diverse Female Dancers," 20 Aug. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for flank

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flank

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

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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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of flank

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on flank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flank

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flank

Spanish Central: Translation of flank

Nglish: Translation of flank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flank for Arabic Speakers

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