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 This electoral fight might see Johnson outflanked from the right by the Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage, the anti-immigration Trump ally who was one of the leading lights of the Brexit referendum. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "Boris Johnson faces daunting challenges from Brexit to Iran," 23 July 2019 Target was being outflanked by Walmart and others in retail’s price wars—particularly in apparel, where most of its older brands no longer had enough appeal to draw customers away from cheaper rivals. Fortune, "Big-Box Rebound: How Target Packaged a Turnaround," 20 Aug. 2019 But the deal floundered in Congress and was shunned in 2016 by Mr. Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidates that year, as Mr. Trump began to outflank them on trade. Alan Rappeport, New York Times, "Echo Trump’s Tough Talk, or Lift Tariffs? Democrats Clash Over Trade," 31 July 2019 The 49-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has been the main face of the party for more than five years and been outflanked by Mr. Modi two elections in a row. Eric Bellman, WSJ, "Indian Opposition Leader Rahul Gandhi Steps Down After Election Rout," 3 July 2019 Their jockeying, punctuated by efforts to outflank each other to the political left and conduct a mid-debate Spanish-speaking contest, could alienate swing voters important to the party's chances against Trump in next November's general election. NBC News, "The winner of the first Democratic debate: Donald Trump," 27 June 2019 That would also effectively neutralize the Brexit Party, lead by Donald Trump favorite Nigel Farage, which has threatened to outflank the Conservatives from the right. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "Boris Johnson has got the Brexit band back together — will they succeed?," 27 July 2019 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

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

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for outflank

The first known use of outflank was in 1765

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More Definitions for outflank


How to pronounce outflank (audio)

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

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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