What does flank mean?

Definitions for flank

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word flank.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. flank, wingnoun

    the side of military or naval formation

    "they attacked the enemy's right flank"

  2. flanknoun

    a subfigure consisting of a side of something

  3. flanknoun

    a cut from the fleshy part of an animal's side between the ribs and the leg

  4. flankverb

    the side between ribs and hipbone

  5. flankverb

    be located at the sides of something or somebody


  1. flanknoun

    The flesh between the last rib and the hip; the side.

  2. flanknoun

    A cut of meat from the flank of an animal.

  3. flanknoun

    The extreme left or right edge of a military formation, army etc.

  4. flanknoun

    The side of something, in general senses.

  5. flanknoun

    The outermost strip of a road.

  6. flanknoun

    The wing, one side of the pitch.

  7. flankverb

    To attack the flank(s) of something.

  8. flankverb

    To defend the flank(s) of something.

  9. flankverb

    To place to the side(s) of something.

  10. flankverb

    To be placed to the side(s) of something (usually in terms of two objects, one on each side.)

  11. flankadjective

    Maximum (of speed). Historically faster than full speed (the most a vessel can sustain without excessive engine wear or risk of damage), now frequently used interchangeably. Typically used in an emergency or during an attack (All ahead flank!).

  12. Etymology: From Late flanc, from flanc, of origin, probably, from hlankaz, from kleng-. Akin to hlanca, lanke (German lenken), hlanc. More at lank.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FLANKnoun

    Etymology: flanc, French, according to Gilles Ménage, from λαγὼν; more probably from latus, Latin.

    The belly shall be eminent by shadowing the flank. Henry Peacham.

    He said, and, pois’d in air, the jav’lin sent:
    Through Paris shield the forceful weapon went,
    His corslet pierces, and his garment rends,
    And glancing downward near his flank descends. Alexander Pope.

    Great ordnance and small shot thundered and showered upon our men from the rampier in front, and from the gallies that lay at sea in flank. Francis Bacon, War with Spain.

    The other half of the battle, and the whole flank of the rear, was closed by the carriages. John Hayward.

    Gray was appointed to stand on the left side, in such sort as he might take the flank of the enemy. John Hayward.

    To right and left the front
    Divided, and to either flank retir’d. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

  2. To Flankverb

    With fates averse, against their king’s command,
    Arm’d on the right, and on the left they stand,
    And flank the passage. John Dryden, Æn.

    By the rich scent we found our perfum’d prey,
    Which, flank’d with rocks, did close in covert lay. Dryden.


  1. flank

    Flank generally refers to the side of something, particularly the side of a person's or animal's body between the ribs and hip. It can also refer to the side of a military formation or the side of a geographical feature, like a mountain or hill. Moreover, in a broader context, to flank means to be situated on each side or on one side of something.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Flanknoun

    the fleshy or muscular part of the side of an animal, between the ribs and the hip. See Illust. of Beef

  2. Flanknoun

    the side of an army, or of any division of an army, as of a brigade, regiment, or battalion; the extreme right or left; as, to attack an enemy in flank is to attack him on the side

  3. Flanknoun

    that part of a bastion which reaches from the curtain to the face, and defends the curtain, the flank and face of the opposite bastion; any part of a work defending another by a fire along the outside of its parapet

  4. Flanknoun

    the side of any building

  5. Flanknoun

    that part of the acting surface of a gear wheel tooth that lies within the pitch line

  6. Flankverb

    to stand at the flank or side of; to border upon

  7. Flankverb

    to overlook or command the flank of; to secure or guard the flank of; to pass around or turn the flank of; to attack, or threaten to attack; the flank of

  8. Flankverb

    to border; to touch

  9. Flankverb

    to be posted on the side

  10. Etymology: [F. flanc, prob. fr. L. flaccus flabby, with n inserted. Cf. Flaccid, Flanch, Flange.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Flank

    flangk, n. the side of an animal from the ribs to the thigh: the side or wing of anything, esp. of an army or fleet: a body of soldiers on the right and left extremities.—v.t. to attack or pass round the side of: to protect the flanks of one's own army by detached bodies of troops, or field-works, or to threaten those of the enemy by directing troops against them.—v.i. to be posted on the side: to touch.—n. Flank′er, a fortification which commands the flank of an assailing force.—v.t. (obs.) to defend by flankers: to attack sideways.—Flank company, the company on the right or left when a battalion is in line; Flank files, the soldiers marching on the extreme right and left of a company, &c. [Fr. flanc, perh. L. flaccus, flabby.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. flank

    A word of very extensive application in military matters. It literally means sides or ends of any fortification, or encampment, or body of troops. Thus a writer has described flanks as “certain proportions of offensive or defensive forces extended to the right and left of a main body.” In fortification the term means any part of the work defending another by a fire along the outside of its parapet.


  1. Flank

    the sides of the thorax: the pleura.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. FLANK

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Flank is ranked #156044 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Flank surname appeared 104 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Flank.

    89.4% or 93 total occurrences were White.

How to pronounce flank?

How to say flank in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of flank in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of flank in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of flank in a Sentence

  1. Antony Blinken:

    When it comes to the deployment of forces and troop levels, we're not looking at troop levels. To the contrary, if Russia commits renewed aggression against Ukraine, I think it's a very fair prospect that NATO will reinforce its positions along its eastern flank.

  2. Charlie Dent:

    I think House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's been careful to court the right of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy conference, and part of the reason House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's not gone after the Taylor Greenes and the Boeberts and the Gosars is because House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's concerned about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy flank.

  3. Giancarlo Caselli:

    Mafiosi do not operate in a vacuum. They are inside, intertwined with a system of relationships, of complicities, without which they could not carry out their criminal activities, without which they could not remain fugitives, they are in relationships that involve professionals, entrepreneurs, public administrators, politicians, individuals who flank their organization and form the so-called Mafia bourgeoisie, or gray zone.

  4. Defense Minister Mircea Dusa:

    We will permanently rotate troops on this flank.

  5. Alexandra Miller:

    This consists primarily of lean protein, such as salmon or flank steak, and non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, green beans or cauliflower.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for flank

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"flank." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/flank>.

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    flee; take to one's heels; cut and run
    A render
    B abhor
    C denudate
    D scarper

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