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[flangk] /flæŋk/
the side of an animal or a person between the ribs and hip.
the thin piece of flesh constituting this part.
a slice of meat from the flank of an animal.
the side of anything, as of a building.
Military, Navy. the extreme right or left side of an army or fleet, or a subdivision of an army or fleet.
  1. the right or left side of a work or fortification.
  2. the part of a bastion that extends from the curtain to the face and protects the curtain and the opposite face.
Machinery. (on a screw thread or the like) either of the two vertical inclined surfaces between the crest and the root.
verb (used with object)
to stand or be placed or posted at the flank or side of.
to defend or guard at the flank.
Military. to menace or attack the flank of.
to pass around or turn the flank of.
verb (used without object)
to occupy a position at the flank or side.
to present the flank or side.
Origin of flank
before 1100; Middle English; late Old English flanc < Old French < Frankish; compare Old High German hlanca loin
Related forms
unflank, verb (used with object)
well-flanked, adjective
8. line, edge, skirt, border. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for flank
  • Call your health care provider if you have prolonged or severe flank pain, or if you suspect hydronephrosis.
  • Two red sandstone buildings also flank the main mausoleum on either side.
  • Call your health care provider if you experience lower abdomen or flank pain, particularly with decreased urine volume.
  • Eighteen months and a slump later, his sally looks to have left the party's flank dangerously exposed.
  • Several small steam eruptions occurred, new fissures appeared, and a bulge developed on the north flank of the volcano.
  • Also note the mud flows that have come off the flank of this ridge.
  • No skirt steak is not flank steak it does not even come from the same part of the animal.
  • Trees and brush powdered with fresh snow flank the icy stream's sides.
  • They have a brawny chewiness similar to flank steak, and suck up the potent marinade beautifully.
  • Now chic boutiques and crowded cafes flank the tower.
British Dictionary definitions for flank


the side of a man or animal between the ribs and the hip
(loosely) the outer part of the human thigh
a cut of beef from the flank
the side of anything, such as a mountain or building
the side of a naval or military formation
when intr, often foll by on or upon. to be located at the side of (an object, building, etc)
(military) to position or guard on or beside the flank of (a formation, etc)
(military) to move past or go round (a flank)
Word Origin
C12: from Old French flanc, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flank

late Old English flanc "fleshy part of the side," from Old French flanc, probably from Frankish *hlanca (cf. Old High German (h)lanca, Middle High German lanke "hip joint," German lenken "to bend, turn, lead"), from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn" (see link (n.)). The military sense is first attested 1540s, as is the verb. Related: Flanked; flanking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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flank in Medicine

flank (flāngk)

  1. The side of the body between the pelvis or hip and the last rib; the side.

  2. The section of flesh in that area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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