- the early part of a period of time: It was just the shank of the evening when the party began.
- the latter part of a period of time: They didn't get started until the shank of the morning.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of shank
- the part of a shoe connecting the wide part of the sole with the heel
- the metal or leather piece used for this
Word Origin for shank
Old English sceanca "leg, shank, shinbone," specifically, the part of the leg from the knee to the ankle, from Proto-Germanic *skankon- (cf. Middle Low German schenke, German schenkel "shank, leg"), perhaps literally "that which bends," from PIE root *skeng- "crooked" (cf. Old Norse skakkr "wry, distorted," Greek skazein "to limp"). Shank's mare "one's own legs as a means of transportation" is attested from 1774 (shanks-naig).
1927, in golf, "to strike (the ball) with the heel of the club," from shank (n.). Related: Shanked; shanking. Earlier as "to take to one's legs" (1774, Scottish); "to send off without ceremony" (1816).