outflank

verb
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 The organization overseeing college sports in this country gives ground grudgingly, typically when outflanked, while clinging to the archaic concept of amateurism as a means to preserve its cash flow and control. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "NCAA is giving ground to college athletes, but also making sure it's on its own terms," 30 Oct. 2019 The organization overseeing college sports in this country gives ground grudgingly, typically when outflanked, while clinging to the archaic concept of amateurism as a means to preserve its cash flow and control. Tim Sullivan, USA TODAY, "Opinion: As NCAA changes image, likeness rule, the delaying will go until government intervenes," 30 Oct. 2019 Mr Erdogan may have outflanked Mr Trump, but the agreement does not give him a free hand in northern Syria. The Economist, "America forsakes Syria’s Kurds in a ceasefire deal with Turkey," 18 Oct. 2019 Ankara had allowed Kurdish peshmerga fighters to transit through Turkey and outflank Islamic State in Kobani, but Turkey never took part in the battle. Los Angeles Times, "Residents of Turkey-Syria border area see danger while hoping for calm," 17 Oct. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of outflank

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about outflank

Statistics for outflank

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for outflank

The first known use of outflank was in 1765

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for outflank

outflank

verb
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)

More from Merriam-Webster on outflank

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!