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

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 Seehofer himself is under pressure from Soeder and other Bavarian leaders, who are trying to outflank the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party that’s polling about 13 percent in Bavaria ahead of a state election in October. Patrick Donahue, Bloomberg.com, "Merkel Still Has Support From Migration Hard-Liners," 25 June 2018 At home, his anti-immigrant, anti-E.U. sentiments helped him outflank the formerly neo-fascist Jobbik party on the right. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The pope’s challenge to Orban and Europe’s far right," 10 Apr. 2018 Within months of taking command, MacArthur – a World War II hero – had halted and outflanked the North Korean invaders, driving them back to the border with China. CBS News, "Almanac: Gen. Douglas MacArthur," 8 July 2018 In the process, supporters of environment protection have been thoroughly outflanked. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 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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Time Traveler for outflank

The first known use of outflank was in 1765

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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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