out·​flank | \ ˌau̇t-ˈflaŋk How to pronounce outflank (audio) \
outflanked; outflanking; outflanks

Definition of outflank

transitive verb

1 : to get around the flank of (an opposing force)

Examples of outflank in a Sentence

The army outflanked the enemy. trying to outflank the competition

Recent Examples on the Web

In Illinois, Republicans were in much the same position as Democrats in Alabama: Outnumbered and outflanked. Timothy Williams, New York Times, "With Most States Under One Party’s Control, America Grows More Divided," 11 June 2019 On June 13, the British Seventh Armored Division tried to outflank Caen but was repulsed at Villers-Bocage by elements of the First and Second SS Panzer Divisions. National Geographic, "'Top Secret' maps reveal the massive Allied effort behind D-Day," 3 June 2019 British troops in a deep-biting power drive outflanked Caen, eastern bastion of the 80-mile battlefront, seizing Troarn, nine miles east of Caen. Wes Gallagher, Houston Chronicle, "U.S. TROOPS CAPTURE MONTEBOURG," 9 June 2019 Now, though, two other far-right parties have emerged and are trying to outflank the government on immigration. Martin Selsoe Sorensen, New York Times, "Denmark Election Is Fueled by Anger on Climate and Immigration," 4 June 2019 And Carlos Curbelo, a House Republican who proposed a carbon tax, was outflanked by his Democratic opponent Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Governors could drive the next wave of climate change action," 8 Nov. 2018 So on Monday, the pharmaceutical industry moved to outflank the Trump administration before the expected release of the new regulations, which was reported by Politico last week. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Pharma’s new plan to put more info — but not drug list prices — in TV ads," 15 Oct. 2018 Remember when he’s being outflanked by Steven Bannon and Breitbart? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Redef CEO Jason Hirschhorn returns to Recode Media with Peter Kafka," 23 Aug. 2018 Trump’s support for DeSantis could help the tea party conservative outflank the right wing of GOP front-runner Adam Putnam, who is Florida's agriculture commissioner and boasts a campaign war chest of $15.7 million. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "We the seagulls," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outflank.' 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 outflank

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for outflank

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for outflank

The first known use of outflank was in 1765

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More Definitions for outflank



English Language Learners Definition of outflank

: to move around the side of (something, such as an opposing force) to attack from behind
: to gain an advantage over (someone or something)

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outflank

Comments on outflank

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something desired as essential

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