From Late Middle English flanc, from Late Old English flanc (“flank”), from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin, probably Frankish *hlanca, from Proto-Germanic *hlankō (“bend, curve, hip, flank”), from Proto-Germanic *hlankaz (“flexible, sleak, bendsome”), 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.
- (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.
- (intransitive) To be placed to the side(s) of something (usually in terms of two objects, one on each side.)
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.
- (military) The sides of a bastion perpendicular to the wall from which the bastion projects.
- 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”, in 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.
- (cut of meat from the flank of an animal): fajita
- (flesh between the last rib and the hip): flank steak
flank (not comparable)