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)

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

The sought-after playmaker collected the ball in a good position on the inside right, finding Benjamin Pavard on the flank before his cross was turned in by Kylian Mbappe. SI.com, "Liverpool Fans React in Frustration to Fekir's France Appearance Hours After Transfer Breaks Down," 10 June 2018 Workers are removing cold, hardened lava from a section of Chain of Craters road, which runs from the coast up the flank of the volcano Kilauea through Volcanoes National Park. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Workers bulldoze emergency escape route through Hawaii lava field as flows threaten roads," 31 May 2018 This week fissure number 18 opened on the east flank of Hawaii’s rumbling Kilauea Volcano, another in the set of rift-zone fractures advancing toward the Pacific coast. Wendell Duffield, Scientific American, "Kilauea’s Next Eruptions May Mirror a Big One in Its Past," 15 May 2018 Kilauea's continued eruptions — possibly a long windup to a major explosion at the summit — forced more evacuations Sunday as yet another fissure opened and spattered lava along the volcano's eastern flank . David Montero, latimes.com, "New fissure prompts more evacuations near Kilauea volcano," 14 May 2018 Rockfalls into the crater are generating small ash clouds, but active eruption and spatter has paused along the lower flanks overnight—yet could still restart at any time. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "“Explosive” Eruptions Possible at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano," 11 May 2018 On the flank of Mount Tam, this is a landmark stone bench and lookout perch set at 2,040 feet, above the fog layer. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "’Tis the season for ‘Dancing with Fog’," 12 July 2018 Lozano reveled in the space left for him on Mexico's left flank and was a constant threat on the counterattack. James Ellingsworth, star-telegram, "Did that just happen? Mexico stuns defending champion Germany in World Cup upset," 17 June 2018 Weah, 18, gave props to the player who started his goal sequence by springing Antonee Robinson for a dash down the left flank. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "What to watch in U.S. men's national team games at Ireland and France," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The defense also should stay solid with Sergio Ramos playing alongside Raphael Varane, flanked by Dani Carvajal and Marcelo. Tales Azzoni, chicagotribune.com, "Real Madrid prepare for life without Ronaldo," 11 July 2018 Nearby, the researchers also found skulls apparently stuck together with mortar—remnants of one of the towers flanking the tzompantli, where most skulls once exhibited on its posts ended their postmortem journey. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 In the order, which Mr. Trump signed while flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the president also instructed the Pentagon to make facilities available for the housing and care of immigrant families. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Trump Retreats After Fury Over Border Separations," 20 June 2018 Finding new receivers to flank Juwan Johnson, who had 701 yards and one TD among his 54 catches, will be critical for McSorley to replicate last year’s success. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football predictions 2018: Week 7 at Penn State," 30 May 2018 Trump signed a full posthumous pardon for Johnson while flanked by boxing royalty including Lennox Lewis, Deontay Wilder and Rocky himself, actor Sylvester Stallone. Derek Wallbank, Bloomberg.com, "Trump, With Sylvester Stallone Alongside Him, Pardons Jack Johnson," 24 May 2018 Alexis Preston and Jay Patel, who live near Houston, exchanged vows while flanked by Disney’s Major Domo character, herald trumpeters, a string quartet, about 50 friends and family members and, appropriately enough, the theme park’s Partners statue. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney: Contest winners tie knot on live TV, in front of Cinderella Castle," 10 May 2018 Like the Zócalo, this central meeting point is flanked by iconic buildings and noteworthy museum, but the main attraction is the opulent Palacio de Bellas Artes. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Days in Mexico City," 16 Apr. 2018 The disgraced movie mogul, 66, was filmed and photographed arriving at the police station flanked by uniformed police officers and with a limp. Kate Samuelson, Time, "These Are the Books Harvey Weinstein Was Carrying When He Was Arrested," 30 July 2017

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

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

Verb

see flank entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flank

Statistics for flank

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flank

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

See more words from the same century

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!