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

transitive verb

: 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 Still, with the respect of the industry on his side, Scott could outflank a field of contenders. Clayton Davis, Variety, 27 Oct. 2023 DeSantis, a Republican who is running for president and seeking to outflank former president Donald Trump and other rivals for the GOP nomination, has signed a law considered one of the nation’s strictest state-level immigration crackdowns. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, 14 June 2023 Hamas projected itself as the defender of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, which enabled it to outflank the rival PLO, which still controlled the West Bank. TIME, 17 Oct. 2023 The fighting dragged on for nearly four hours, according to the report, with Ben-Yehuda and the Caracal Battalion thwarting the terrorists’ attempts to outflank them. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, 25 Oct. 2023 But in recent years, its members have been outflanked by other candidates who represent a further right, more populist strain of the Republican party. Nicholas Kerr, ABC News, 4 Oct. 2023 So the pioneering industrialist, an early believer in vertical integration, looked for a way to outflank them and produce his own rubber. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 28 July 2023 Their steady advances have added urgency to a now pressing debate among liberals over how to outflank a suddenly more influential right. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 9 July 2023 English-language pop’s timid longtime gatekeepers — radio stations — have been outflanked by audio and video streaming services. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 22 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'outflank.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of outflank was in 1765

Dictionary Entries Near outflank

Cite this Entry

“Outflank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outflank. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


out·​flank (ˈ)au̇t-ˈflaŋk How to pronounce outflank (audio)
: to get around the side of (a military formation)
outflank the enemy

More from Merriam-Webster on outflank

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