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 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 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

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

6 Sep 2019

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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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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).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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