shank

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: the part of the leg between the knee and the ankle in humans or the corresponding part in various other vertebrates
b
: leg
c
: a cut of beef, veal, mutton, or lamb from the upper or the lower part of the leg : shin see beef illustration
2
: a straight narrow usually essential part of an object: such as
a
: the straight part of a nail or pin
b
: a straight part of a plant : stem, stalk
c
: the part of an anchor between the ring and the crown see anchor illustration
d
: the part of a fishhook between the eye and the bend
e
: the part of a key between the handle and the bit
f
: the stem of a tobacco pipe or the part between the stem and the bowl
h(1)
: the narrow part of the sole of a shoe beneath the instep
(2)
3
: a part of an object by which it can be attached: such as
a(1)
: a projection on the back of a solid button
(2)
: a short stem of thread that holds a sewn button away from the cloth
b
: the end (as of a drill bit) that is gripped in a chuck
4
a
: the latter part of a period of time
b
: the early or main part of a period of time
11 p.m. on the East coast is merely the shank of the evening on the West coast
5
slang : an often homemade knife
shanked adjective

shank

2 of 2

verb

shanked; shanking; shanks

transitive verb

: to hit (a golf ball or shot) with the extreme heel of the club so that the ball goes off in an unintended direction
also : to kick (a football) in an unintended direction

Example Sentences

Noun the shank of a drill bit slashed at the prison guard with a shank he had secretly made from a scrap of metal
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Coffee pepita mole was served alongside honey sriracha to accompany the main course of lamb shank and snapper, while starters included tahini cucumber salad with sesame and mint. Rachel Felder, New York Times, 30 Dec. 2022 On the larger side, brand-new entrees include a chicken schnitzel with Yemenite pickles, schug and tahina, as well as a large-format Persian lamb shank and bone-in short rib. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 22 Nov. 2022 His untraditional Seder plate features a chicken bone in place of the lamb shank, collard greens representing the bitter herbs, hot pepper subbing for horseradish, and hoecake for matzo. Rien Fertel, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2022 Deputies also reported finding Nigro with a makeshift knife or shank. The Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, 12 Nov. 2022 Two inmates in the Cuyahoga County Jail are charged with stabbing another inmate with a shank, reports Cory Shaffer. cleveland, 21 Nov. 2022 The insoles of the Bean Boot are well-cushioned, and the steel shank (a piece that gives shoe support) offers stability and protects the bottom from sharp rocks, while the unlined leather envelops the foot without compressing it. Matt Jancer, WIRED, 12 Nov. 2022 The owners say Afghan Bistro’s siblings, which offer mezze portions of, say, whole veal shank, allow for the variety. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2022 Wrap back down the shank all the way to where the wire ends. Aleta Burchyski, Outside Online, 20 May 2020
Verb
Rachel threatens to shank Mercedes with a piece of plane debris over the Patsy Cline solo. Maggie Olmsted, The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2022 Well, no matter how many times Bills punter Matt Haack tried to shank the game away, Zach Wilson kept giving it right back. New York Times, 9 Jan. 2022 Try the tender texture of mushroom ceviche with coconut, curry leaf, and crunchy boondi, or Nalli Nihari lamb shank, slowly braised and served with saffron-cauliflower risotto. Jessica Dupuy, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 That convenience is also accentuated due to the impact-ready, 1⁄4-inch hex shank on each of the drill bits. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, 30 Sep. 2021 But the sharp decline in air travel last year pounded these operations, and airports around the world have reported that annual revenues shank by more than half last year. Esther Fung, WSJ, 23 Mar. 2021 The barbecue pork shank along with the Carolina shrimp and grits is perfection. cleveland, 22 Dec. 2020 The barbecue pork shank along with the Carolina shrimp and grits is perfection. cleveland, 22 Dec. 2020 The barbecue pork shank along with the Carolina shrimp and grits is perfection. cleveland, 22 Dec. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English shanke, from Old English scanca; akin to Old Norse skakkr crooked, Greek skazein to limp

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shank was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near shank

Cite this Entry

“Shank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shank. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

shank

noun
ˈshaŋk
1
a
: the part of the leg between the knee and the ankle in human beings or a similar part in various other vertebrates
b
: a cut of meat (as beef or lamb) from usually the upper part of a leg
2
a
: the straight shaft (as of a nail, pin, or fishhook)
b
: the narrow part of the sole of a shoe beneath the instep
3
: a part of a tool that connects the acting part with a part by which it is held or moved
the shank of a drill bit
the shank of a key
4
: a part of something by which it can be attached: as
a
: a part that sticks out on the back of a solid button
b
: a short stem of thread that holds a sewn button away from the cloth
shanked
ˈshaŋ(k)t
adjective

Medical Definition

shank

noun
: the part of the leg between the knee and the ankle in humans or a corresponding part in other vertebrates

More from Merriam-Webster on shank

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