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[fal-uhnj, fuh-lanj, fey-lanj]
noun, plural phalanges [fuh-lan-jeez] . Anatomy, Zoology.
a phalanx.

1550–60; back formation from phalanges


[fey-langks, fal-angks]
noun, plural phalanxes or for 7, phalanges [fuh-lan-jeez] .
(in ancient Greece) a group of heavily armed infantry formed in ranks and files close and deep, with shields joined and long spears overlapping.
any body of troops in close array.
a number of individuals, especially persons united for a common purpose.
a compact or closely massed body of persons, animals, or things.
Military, (initial capital letter) a radar-controlled U.S. Navy 20mm Gatling-type gun deployed on ships as a last line of defense against antiship cruise missiles.
(in Fourierism) a group of about 1800 persons, living together and holding their property in common.
Anatomy, Zoology. any of the bones of the fingers or toes. See diag. under skeleton.
verb (used without object)
Printing. to arrange the distribution of work in a shop as evenly as possible.

1545–55; < Latin < Greek phálanx military formation, bone of finger or toe, wooden roller

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
phalange (ˈfælændʒ)
n , pl phalanges
anatomy another name for phalanx
[C16: via French, ultimately from Greek phalanx]

phalanx (ˈfælæŋks)
n , pl phalanxes, phalanges
1.  an ancient Greek and Macedonian battle formation of hoplites presenting long spears from behind a wall of overlapping shields
2.  any closely ranked unit or mass of people: the police formed a phalanx to protect the embassy
3.  a number of people united for a common purpose
4.  (in Fourierism) a group of approximately 1800 persons forming a commune in which all property is collectively owned
5.  anatomy any of the bones of the fingers or toesRelated: phalangeal
6.  botany
 a.  a bundle of stamens, joined together by their stalks (filaments)
 b.  Compare guerrilla a form of vegetative spread in which the advance is on a broad front, as in the common reed
Related: phalangeal
[C16: via Latin from Greek: infantry formation in close ranks, bone of finger or toe]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1553, from Gk. phalanx (gen. phalangos) "line of battle, battle array," also "finger or toe bone," originally "round piece of wood, trunk, log," of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE base *bhelg- "plank, beam" (cf. O.E. balca "balk;" see balk). In anatomy, originally the whole
row of finger joints, which fit together like infantry in close order. Fig. sense of "number of persons banded together in a common cause" is attested from 1600 (cf. Sp. Falangist, member of a fascist organization founded in 1933).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

phalanx pha·lanx (fā'lāngks', fāl'āngks')
n. pl. pha·lanx·es or pha·lan·ges (fə-lān'jēz, fā-)
Any of the long bones of the fingers or toes, numbering 14 for each hand or foot: two for the thumb or big toe, and three each for the other four digits.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
phalanx   (fā'lāngks')  Pronunciation Key 
Plural phalanges (fə-lān'jēz)
Any of the small bones of the fingers or toes in humans or the digits of many other vertebrates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It is a crown fit for a queen, its spikes and phalanges emphasizing the unerring sphericity of the egg.
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