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See also: Phalanx


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Bones of the hand: carpals, metacarpals and phalanges


Borrowed from Latin phalanx or Ancient Greek φάλαγξ (phálanx, battle order, array). Doublet of plank.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfeɪlæŋks/
  • Hyphenation: pha‧lanx
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phalanx (plural phalanxes or phalanges)

  1. (historical, plural phalanxes) An ancient Greek and Macedonian military unit that consisted of several ranks and files (lines) of soldiers in close array with joined shields and long spears.
  2. (historical sociology) A Fourierite utopian community; a phalanstery.
  3. (plural phalanxes) A large group of people, animals or things, compact or closely massed, or tightly knit and united in common purpose.
    • 2007 April 25, Hélène Mulholland, “Blair refuses to condemn FoI bill”, in The Guardian[1], London, archived from the original on 3 October 2014:
      The Guardian today listed a phalanx of ministers who back the bill, including Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, Tony McNulty, the policing minister, Andy Burnham, the junior health minister, Ian Pearson, the climate change minister, John Healey, the financial secretary to the Treasury, and Keith Hill, parliamentary private secretary to Tony Blair.
    • 2007 May 6, Sean O'Hagan, “The day I thought would never come: This week, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness will astonish those who experienced the Troubles”, in The Guardian[2], London, archived from the original on 3 October 2014:
      There, the Paisleyites were being held back by another phalanx of soldiers and policemen.
  4. (anatomy, plural phalanges) One of the bones of the finger or toe.


  • (anatomy, bone of the finger or toe): phalange




Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek φάλαγξ (phálanx). Compare Latin phalanga.



phalanx f (genitive phalangis); third declension

  1. phalanx, battalion


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative phalanx phalangēs
Genitive phalangis phalangum
Dative phalangī phalangibus
Accusative phalangem phalangēs
Ablative phalange phalangibus
Vocative phalanx phalangēs

Related terms[edit]


  • Catalan: falange
  • English: phalanx, phalange
  • French: phalange


  • phalanx in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • phalanx in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • phalanx in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[3], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to form a phalanx: phalangem facere (B. G. 1. 24)
    • to break through the phalanx: phalangem perfringere
  • phalanx in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • phalanx in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin