From Late Middle English flanc, from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin, probably Frankish *hlanca, from Proto-Germanic *hlankaz (“flexible", "to bend”), from Proto-Indo-European *kleng- (“to bend”). Akin to Old High German hlanca (“loin”), Middle High German lanke (“hip joint”) (German lenken (“to bend, turn, lead”)), Old English hlanc (“loose, slender, flaccid, lank”). More at lank.
flank (not comparable)
- (nautical) Maximum (of speed). Historically faster than full speed (the most a vessel can sustain without excessive engine wear or risk of damage), now frequently used interchangeably. Typically used in an emergency or during an attack (All ahead flank!).
flank (plural flanks)
- (anatomy) The flesh between the last rib and the hip; the side.
- (cooking) A cut of meat from the flank of an animal.
- (military) The extreme left or right edge of a military formation, army etc.
- The side of something, in general senses.
- The outermost strip of a road.
- (soccer) The wing, one side of the pitch.
2011 January 23, Alistair Magowan, “Blackburn 2 - 0 West Brom”, BBC:
- The hosts also had Paul Robinson to thank for a string of saves, three of them coming against Jerome Thomas, who gave Michel Salgado a torrid time down the left flank.
- That part of the acting surface of a gear wheel tooth that lies within the pitch line.
- (flesh between the last rib and the hip): flank steak
- (cut of meat from the flank of an animal): fajita
- (transitive) To attack the flank(s) of something.
- (transitive) To defend the flank(s) of something.
- (transitive) To place to the side(s) of something.
- Stately colonnades are flanked with trees.
- To be placed to the side(s) of something (usually in terms of two objects, one on each side.)