phalanx

[ fey-langks, fal-angks ]
/ ˈfeɪ læŋks, ˈfæl æŋks /

noun, plural pha·lanx·es or for 7, pha·lan·ges [fuh-lan-jeez] /fəˈlæn dʒiz/.

verb (used without object)

Printing. to arrange the distribution of work in a shop as evenly as possible.

Origin of phalanx

1545–55; < Latin < Greek phálanx military formation, bone of finger or toe, wooden roller
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phalanx

British Dictionary definitions for phalanx

phalanx

/ (ˈfælæŋks) /

noun plural phalanxes or phalanges (fæˈlændʒiːz)

an ancient Greek and Macedonian battle formation of hoplites presenting long spears from behind a wall of overlapping shields
any closely ranked unit or mass of peoplethe police formed a phalanx to protect the embassy
a number of people united for a common purpose
(in Fourierism) a group of approximately 1800 persons forming a commune in which all property is collectively owned
anatomy any of the bones of the fingers or toesRelated adjective: phalangeal
botany
  1. a bundle of stamens, joined together by their stalks (filaments)
  2. a form of vegetative spread in which the advance is on a broad front, as in the common reedCompare guerrilla

Word Origin for phalanx

C16: via Latin from Greek: infantry formation in close ranks, bone of finger or toe
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 phalanx

phalanx


n.

1550s, "line of battle in close ranks," from Latin phalanx "compact body of heavily armed men in battle array," or directly from Greek phalanx (genitive phalangos) "line of battle, battle array," also "finger or toe bone," originally "round piece of wood, trunk, log," of unknown origin. Perhaps from PIE root *bhelg- "plank, beam" (cf. Old English balca "balk;" see balk (n.)). The Macedonian phalanx consisted of 50 close files of 16 men each. In anatomy, originally the whole row of finger joints, which fit together like infantry in close order. Figurative sense of "number of persons banded together in a common cause" is attested from 1600 (cf. Spanish Falangist, member of a fascist organization founded in 1933).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for phalanx

phalanx

[ fālăngks′, fălăngks′ ]

n. pl. pha•lanx•es

Any of the long bones of the fingers or toes, numbering 14 for each hand or foot: two for the thumb or big toe, and three each for the other four digits.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for phalanx

phalanx

[ fālăngks′ ]

Plural phalanges (fə-lănjēz)

Any of the small bones of the fingers or toes in humans or the digits of many other vertebrates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.