Definition of flank in English:


Syllabification: flank
Pronunciation: /flaNGk


  • 1The side of a person’s or animal’s body between the ribs and the hip: leaning against his horse’s flanks
    More example sentences
    • He tapped his horse's flanks and moved back to the front of the procession.
    • He brought his heels back into the horse's flanks.
    • Apache is white with black patches over his left flank, under his chest and neck and over the top of his head, around his eyes.
    side, haunch, quarter, thigh
  • 1.1A cut of meat from the flank of an animal: a thick flank of beef on a spit two pounds of flank
    More example sentences
    • I spend all day hauling around big tubs of pork chops and beef flanks to be packed, wrapped and carted off to restaurants.
    • For beef, good casserole cuts are shin, brisket, neck, topside, thick flank or shoulder.
    • There were nice fatty chuck roasts, rolled flanks and skirts, four kinds of fresh looking ground beef in those pretty crowns that I knew I'd never learn to make.
  • 1.2The side of something large, such as a mountain, building, or ship: the northern flank of the volcano
    More example sentences
    • The entire northern flank of the mountain collapses and falls as an avalanche lowering the height of the mountain by 1,500 feet.
    • Meanwhile, the Cherokees fought sporadic engagements against other native peoples on their western and northern mountain flanks.
    • And, in early April, geologists had noted that the northern flank of the mountain was beginning to bulge ominously.
  • 2The right or left side of a body of people such as an army, a naval force, or a soccer team: the left flank of the Russian Third Army
    More example sentences
    • By the evening of 28 August, German forces advancing on the flanks had closed a circle around Second Army.
    • The 3rd and 2nd panzer groups were placed at the flanks of the Army Group Center as part of its assault groups.
    • By this formula MacArthur could pick the time and place of battle, using air and naval forces to protect his flanks while concentrating combat power for the next thrust.
    side, wing
  • 2.1The right or left side of a game board such as a chessboard.
    More example sentences
    • When the opponent attacks on the flank, a counter in the center is usually very effective.


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  • 1Be situated on each side of or on one side of (someone or something): the fireplace is flanked by built-in bookshelves
    More example sentences
    • It is well lit by two large windows and has as its focal point a marble fireplace flanked by built-in shelving units.
    • The fireplace is flanked by fitted floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.
    • Central to the transformation was the creation of an inviting sitting area oriented toward a new gas fireplace flanked by tall bookshelves.
  • 1.1 (usually as adjective flanking) Guard or strengthen (a military force or position) from the side: massive walls, defended by four flanking towers
    More example sentences
    • I had moved out of the view of the two armed guards and they quickly moved to flanking positions either side of me.
    • The other two took flanking positions as the group headed across the city.
  • 1.2 (usually as adjective flanking) Attack down or from the sides, or rake with gunfire from the sides: a flanking attack from the northeast
    More example sentences
    • We sat around the kitchen table and planned out our strategy, various frontal attacks and flanking maneuvers we could make were considered.
    • Suddenly, two Rebel batteries flanked the attacking Union troops and opened fire upon their exposed rear flank.
    • The second fighter's attack you, Tice and his five-fighter squadron will flank from behind and intercept.


late Old English, from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody