What does shank mean?

Definitions for shank

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shanknoun

    a cut of meat (beef or veal or mutton or lamb) from the upper part of the leg

  2. shanknoun

    the part of the human leg between the knee and the ankle

  3. shank, stemnoun

    cylinder forming a long narrow part of something

  4. shanknoun

    cylinder forming the part of a bolt between the thread and the head

  5. shanknoun

    cylinder forming the part of a bit by which it is held in the drill

  6. shank, waistnoun

    the narrow part of the shoe connecting the heel and the wide part of the sole

  7. cannon, shanknoun

    lower part of the leg extending from the hock to the fetlock in hoofed mammals

  8. shankverb

    a poor golf stroke in which the heel of the club hits the ball

  9. shankverb

    hit (a golf ball) with the heel of a club, causing the ball to veer in the wrong direction


  1. shanknoun

    The lower part of the leg; shin.

  2. shanknoun

    Meat from that part of an animal.

  3. shanknoun

    A straight, narrow part of an object; shaft; stem.

  4. shanknoun

    The handle of a pair of shears, connecting the ride to the neck.

  5. shanknoun

    The center part of a fishhook between the eye and the hook, the 'hook' being the curved part that bends toward the point.

  6. shanknoun

    A protruding part of an object, by which it is or can be attached.

  7. shanknoun

    The metal part on a curb bit that falls below the mouthpiece of the bit, which length controls the severity of the leverage action of the bit, and to which the reins of the bridle are attached.

  8. shanknoun

    A poorly played golf shot in which the ball is struck by the part of the club head that connects to the shaft. See thin,fat,toe.

  9. shanknoun

    An improvised stabbing weapon.

  10. shankverb

    to travel on foot

  11. shankverb

    to stab, especially with an improvised blade

  12. shankverb

    to remove another's pants, especially in jest

  13. shankverb

    to hit or kick the ball in an unintended direction

  14. shanknoun

    De-pantsing an individual, to some in the south.

  15. shankadjective


  16. Etymology: shanke, from sceanca, from skankōn (compare West Frisian skonk, Low German Schanke, Dutch/ Schenkel 'shank, leg', Norwegian skank), from *skankaz (compare skakkr 'wry, crooked'), from (s)keng (compare scingim 'I spring', skázein 'to limp').

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Shanknoun

    Etymology: sceanca , Saxon; schenckel, Dutch.

    Eftsoons her white strait legs were altered
    To crooked crawling shanks, of marrow emptied;
    And her fair face to foul and loathsome hue,
    And her fine corps to a bag of venom grew. Edmund Spenser.

    The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
    His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shanks. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    A stag says, if these pitiful shanks of mine were but answerable to this branching head, I can’t but think how I should defy all my enemies. Roger L'Estrange.

    Shut me nightly in a charnel-house,
    O’er cover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones,
    With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless skulls. William Shakespeare.

    The shank of a key, or some such long hole, the punch cannot strike, because the shank is not forged with substance sufficient. Joseph Moxon.


  1. shank

    A shank primarily refers to the part of the human leg between the knee and the ankle. However, its definition can vary depending on the context: 1. In anatomy, a shank refers to the part of the lower limb in humans between the knee and ankle, also known as the crus. 2. In culinary terms, it refers to a cut of meat from the upper part of an animal’s leg. 3. In tools or machinery, a shank refers to a long, narrow part that connects the end that does the work to the end that is held to use the tool. 4. In sports, like golf or soccer, 'shank' refers to a miss-hit where the ball is struck with the wrong part of the bat, club, or foot. 5. In the footwear industry, it's a piece of material, embedded in shoe soles for support. 6. In the context of prison slang, a homemade knife or stabbing instrument is often referred to as a shank. 7. In jewelry, the shank is the part of a ring that wraps around the finger.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shanknoun

    see Chank

  2. Shank

    the part of the leg from the knee to the foot; the shin; the shin bone; also, the whole leg

  3. Shank

    hence, that part of an instrument, tool, or other thing, which connects the acting part with a handle or other part, by which it is held or moved

  4. Shank

    that part of a key which is between the bow and the part which enters the wards of the lock

  5. Shank

    the middle part of an anchor, or that part which is between the ring and the arms

  6. Shank

    that part of a hoe, rake, knife, or the like, by which it is secured to a handle

  7. Shank

    a loop forming an eye to a button

  8. Shank

    the space between two channels of the Doric triglyph

  9. Shank

    a large ladle for molten metal, fitted with long bars for handling it

  10. Shank

    the body of a type

  11. Shank

    the part of the sole beneath the instep connecting the broader front part with the heel

  12. Shank

    a wading bird with long legs; as, the green-legged shank, or knot; the yellow shank, or tattler; -- called also shanks

  13. Shank

    flat-nosed pliers, used by opticians for nipping off the edges of pieces of glass to make them round

  14. Shankverb

    to fall off, as a leaf, flower, or capsule, on account of disease affecting the supporting footstalk; -- usually followed by off

  15. Etymology: [OE. shanke, schanke, schonke, AS. scanca, sceanca, sconca, sceonca; akin to D. schonk a bone, G. schenkel thigh, shank, schinken ham, OHG. scincha shank, Dan. & Sw. skank. 161. Cf. Skink, v.]


  1. Shank

    A shank is a device for providing a small amount of space in between a garment and a button. Shanks are necessary to provide space for fabric to sit in between the button and the garment when the garment is buttoned. Shanks also allow a garment to hang and drape nicely.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shank

    shangk, n. the leg below the knee to the foot: the long part of any instrument, as of an anchor between the arms and ring: the part of a tool connecting the handle with the acting part: the part of a shoe connecting the sole with the heel.—v.i. to be affected with disease of the footstalk: to take to one's legs (with it).—v.t. (Scot.) to despatch unceremoniously.—adj. Shanked, having a shank: affected with disease of the shank or footstalk.—ns. Shank′-ī′ron, a shaping-tool for shoe-shanks: an iron plate inserted as a stiffening between the leather parts of a shank; Shank′-paint′er, a painter or small rope for fastening the shank of an anchor, when catted, to a ship's side. [A.S. sceanca, leg—sceacan, to shake; Dut. schonk, Low Ger. schake.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. shank

    An arrangement of deep-water fishing lines. Also, a handle or shaft. Also the bar or shaft of an anchor, constituting its main piece, at one end of which the stock is fixed, and at the other the arms.

Rap Dictionary

  1. shanknoun

    Ima shank u muhfuka! Also to shank the cak cak cak. Lik Lik Lik my balz!

  2. shankverb

    To Stab Somebody Multiple Times


  1. Shank

    = tibia; q.v.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. SHANK

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Shank is ranked #2700 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Shank surname appeared 13,343 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 would have the surname Shank.

    91.9% or 12,272 total occurrences were White.
    2.7% or 370 total occurrences were Black.
    2.1% or 288 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.5% or 209 total occurrences were Asian.
    1% or 139 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.4% or 64 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Anagrams for shank »

  1. ankhs

  2. hanks

  3. khans

  4. Naskh

How to pronounce shank?

How to say shank in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shank in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shank in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of shank in a Sentence

  1. Collin Morikawa:

    I did something in my career that I haven’t done yet, was shank a shot, yeah, shanked a pitching wedge straight in the trees.

  2. Rick Singleton:

    We shook him down, and we did find a shank in his possession -- a shank is a prison knife -- and we retrieved that. We immediately had him shipped back to the Department of Corrections.

  3. Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace:

    He forced the guard to disrobe and then put on his clothes, he then held the shank against the guard as they went downstairs and he left through a side door.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for shank

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"shank." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shank>.

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    an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits
    • A. indiscernible
    • B. adscripted
    • C. proprietary
    • D. ambidextrous

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