[ flangk ]
See synonyms for: flankflankedflanking on Thesaurus.com

  1. the side of an animal or a person between the ribs and hip.

  2. the thin piece of flesh constituting this part.

  1. a slice of meat from the flank of an animal.

  2. the side of anything, as of a building.

  3. Military, Navy. the extreme right or left side of an army or fleet, or a subdivision of an army or fleet.

  4. Fortification.

    • the right or left side of a work or fortification.

    • the part of a bastion that extends from the curtain to the face and protects the curtain and the opposite face.

  5. Machinery. (on a screw thread or the like) either of the two vertical inclined surfaces between the crest and the root.

verb (used with object)
  1. to stand or be placed or posted at the flank or side of.

  2. to defend or guard at the flank.

  1. Military. to menace or attack the flank of.

  2. to pass around or turn the flank of.

verb (used without object)
  1. to occupy a position at the flank or side.

  2. 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

Other words for flank

Other words from flank

  • un·flank, verb (used with object)
  • well-flanked, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use flank in a sentence

  • Passing the flanking line of mesas, Bill pushed his way up a watercourse between two foothills.

    Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman
  • Flanking these are sacred figures, which are too small to be attractive at a greater distance than six yards.

  • Once more we robbed the stone wall, building our two flanking paths of stepping-stones to the other side of the brook.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton
  • A considerable effort at ornamentation has been made on the walls flanking the balcony described.

British Dictionary definitions for flank


/ (flæŋk) /

  1. the side of a man or animal between the ribs and the hip

  2. (loosely) the outer part of the human thigh

  1. a cut of beef from the flank

  2. the side of anything, such as a mountain or building

  3. the side of a naval or military formation

  1. (when intr, often foll by on or upon) to be located at the side of (an object, building, etc)

  2. military to position or guard on or beside the flank of (a formation, etc)

  1. military to move past or go round (a flank)

Origin of 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