Definition of phalanx in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfalaŋks/


1 (plural phalanxes) A body of troops or police officers standing or moving in close formation: six hundred marchers set off, led by a phalanx of police
More example sentences
  • An hour earlier, phalanxes of police officers had closed in on peaceful sidewalk protestors, forcing them into the street and herding them helplessly away.
  • We make our way slowly out of the field and along the side of a small country road, passing a phalanx of police officers dressed in riot gear.
  • He was moved through the media scrum surrounded by a phalanx of Dallas police officers.
1.1A group of people or things of a similar type forming a compact body: he headed past the phalanx of waiting reporters to the line of limos
More example sentences
  • With the help of the late Pim Fortuyn's phalanx of oddball MPs, he is putting together the most right-wing government seen in Holland since the war.
  • This massed phalanx of critical women, their views reinforced by their happy agreement with each other, would plainly make any intimate compromise or concession on the part of the injured wife far harder to achieve.
  • How far did Handel's music exert a stranglehold, and was it ever seen as supporting the conservative Ancient Music phalanx, which was uniquely strong in Britain?
1.2(In ancient Greece) a body of Macedonian infantry drawn up in close order with shields touching and long spears overlapping.
Example sentences
  • The Romans entered Macedonia, and the Macedonian phalanx fought its last battle on unfavourable ground at Pydna, on the morrow of the lunar eclipse in June 168.
  • The Macedonian phalanx was Philip's creation, extended by Alexander.
  • Sixteen thousand of them he organized into a massive phalanx, even dressing them in Macedonian style.
2 (plural phalanges /fəˈlan(d)ʒiːz/) Anatomy A bone of the finger or toe.
Example sentences
  • A calcined distal first phalanx was recovered from Unit B, Level 2, while Unit E, Level 4 contained a calcined distal third phalanx.
  • Two specimens, a distal two-thirds of a central metapodial and a complete proximal phalanx, are those of a large felid.
  • Extensor pollicis brevis arises from the radius distal to abductor pollicis longus and inserts onto the base of the proximal phalanx of the thumb.


Mid 16th century (denoting a body of Macedonian infantry): via Latin from Greek.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: phal|anx

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