verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to occupy a position at the flank or side.
to present the flank or side.

Origin of flank

before 1100; Middle English; late Old English flanc < Old French < Frankish; compare Old High German hlanca loin
Related formsun·flank, verb (used with object)well-flanked, adjective

Synonyms for flank

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for flank

hip, ham, thigh, hand, quarter, wing, side, loin, pleuron

Examples from the Web for flank

Contemporary Examples of flank

  • There were no party leaders to flank him and no signs of celebration.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama Gets Rolled

    John Avlon

    December 7, 2010

  • The main feature of this salad is flank steak, rubbed with garlic and grilled over a hot fire to create a perfectly seared crust.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What to Eat


    July 21, 2009

  • With his speech, Netanyahu put President Obama in the middle of the regional conflict, with Ahmadinejad on the other flank.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Bibi's Collision Course

    Salameh Nematt

    June 15, 2009

Historical Examples of flank

British Dictionary definitions for flank



the side of a man or animal between the ribs and the hip
(loosely) the outer part of the human thigh
a cut of beef from the flank
the side of anything, such as a mountain or building
the side of a naval or military formation


(when intr, often foll by on or upon) to be located at the side of (an object, building, etc)
military to position or guard on or beside the flank of (a formation, etc)
military to move past or go round (a flank)

Word Origin for flank

C12: from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for flank

late Old English flanc "fleshy part of the side," from Old French flanc, probably from Frankish *hlanca (cf. Old High German (h)lanca, Middle High German lanke "hip joint," German lenken "to bend, turn, lead"), from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn" (see link (n.)). The military sense is first attested 1540s, as is the verb. Related: Flanked; flanking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

flank in Medicine




The side of the body between the pelvis or hip and the last rib; the side.
The section of flesh in that area.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.