Flank Flank (fl[a^][ng]k), n. [F. flanc, prob. fr. L. flaccus flabby, with n inserted. Cf. {Flaccid}, {Flanch}, {Flange}.] 1. The fleshy or muscular part of the side of an animal, between the ribs and the hip. See Illust. of {Beef}. [1913 Webster]

2. (Mil.) (a) The side of an army, or of any division of an army, as of a brigade, regiment, or battalion; the extreme right or left; as, to attack an enemy in flank is to attack him on the side. [1913 Webster]

When to right and left the front

Divided, and to either flank retired. --Milton. (b) (Fort.) That part of a bastion which reaches from the curtain to the face, and defends the curtain, the flank and face of the opposite bastion; any part of a work defending another by a fire along the outside of its parapet. See Illust. of {Bastion}. [1913 Webster]

3. (Arch.) The side of any building. --Brands. [1913 Webster]

4. That part of the acting surface of a gear wheel tooth that lies within the pitch line. [1913 Webster]

{Flank attack} (Mil.), an attack upon the side of an army or body of troops, distinguished from one upon its front or rear.

{Flank company} (Mil.), a certain number of troops drawn up on the right or left of a battalion; usually grenadiers, light infantry, or riflemen.

{Flank defense} (Fort.), protection of a work against undue exposure to an enemy's direct fire, by means of the fire from other works, sweeping the ground in its front.

{Flank en potence} (Mil.), any part of the right or left wing formed at a projecting angle with the line.

{Flank files}, the first men on the right, and the last on the left, of a company, battalion, etc.

{Flank march}, a march made parallel or obliquely to an enemy's position, in order to turn it or to attack him on the flank.

{Flank movement}, a change of march by an army, or portion of one, in order to turn one or both wings of the enemy, or to take up a new position.

{Flanks of a frontier}, salient points in a national boundary, strengthened to protect the frontier against hostile incursion.

{Flank patrol}, detachments acting independently of the column of an army, but patrolling along its flanks, to secure it against surprise and to observe the movements of the enemy. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flank — (fl[a^][ng]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Flanked} (fl[a^][ng]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Flanking}.] [Cf. F. flanquer. See {Flank}, n., and cf. {Flanker}, v. t.] 1. To stand at the flank or side of; to border upon. [1913 Webster] Stately colonnades are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flank — may refer to: * Flank, the side of either a horse or a military unit * Flanking maneuver in military tactics * Flank (electronics), when a signal goes high or low it forms an waveform edge . * Flank, a region of the posterior torso (lower back)… …   Wikipedia

  • flank — [flaŋk] n. [ME flanke < OFr flanc < Frank * hlanka, akin to OHG hlanka, a hip, flank: for IE base see LANK] 1. the fleshy side of a person or animal between the ribs and the hip 2. a cut of beef from this part: see BEEF 3. loosely the outer …   English World dictionary

  • Flank — Flank, v. i. 1. To border; to touch. Bp. Butler. [1913 Webster] 2. To be posted on the side. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flank — flank; out·flank·er; …   English syllables

  • flank — index border (bound), hedge, protect Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • flank — (n.) late O.E. flanc fleshy part of the side, from O.Fr. flanc, probably from Frankish *hlanca (Cf. O.H.G. (h)lanca, M.H.G. lanke hip joint, Ger. lenken to bend, turn, lead ), from PIE root *kleng to bend, turn (see LINK (Cf. link) (n.)). Th …   Etymology dictionary

  • flank — [n] haunch of an animate being ham, hand, hip, loin, pleuron, quarter, side, thigh, wing; concept 392 …   New thesaurus

  • flank — ► NOUN 1) the side of a person s or animal s body between the ribs and the hip. 2) the side of something such as a building or mountain. 3) the left or right side of a body of people. ► VERB ▪ be situated on each or on one side of. ORIGIN Old… …   English terms dictionary

  • flank — n. 1) to turn ( go around ) a flank (to turn the enemy s flank) 2) on a flank (on the left flank) 3) (misc.) a flank attack * * * [flæŋk] (misc.) a flank attack on a flank (on the left flank) to turn ( go around ) a flank (to turn the enemy s… …   Combinatory dictionary

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