Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A compact or close-knit body of people: "formed a solid phalanx in defense of the Constitution and Protestant religion” ( G.M. Trevelyan).
  • n. A formation of infantry carrying overlapping shields and long spears, developed by Philip II of Macedon and used by Alexander the Great.
  • n. Anatomy A bone of a finger or toe. Also called phalange.
  • n. See phalanstery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a large group of people, animals or things, compact or closely massed, or tightly knit and united in common purpose.
  • n. One of the bones of the finger or toe.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A Fourierite utopian community; a phalanstery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A body of heavy-armed infantry formed in ranks and files close and deep. There were several different arrangements, the phalanx varying in depth from four to twenty-five or more ranks of men.
  • n. Any body of troops or men formed in close array, or any combination of people distinguished for firmness and solidity of a union.
  • n. A Fourierite community; a phalanstery.
  • n. One of the digital bones of the hand or foot, beyond the metacarpus or metatarsus; an internode.
  • n. A group or bundle of stamens, as in polyadelphous flowers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Gr. antiquity, in general, the whole of the heavy-armed infantry of an army; particularly, a single grand division of that class of troops when formed in ranks and files close and deep, with their shields joined and long spears overlapping one another so as to present a firm and serried front to a foe.
  • n. Any body of troops or men formed in close array, or any combination of people distinguished for firmness and solidity of union.
  • n. In Fourier's plan for the reorganization of society, a group of persons, numbering about 1, 800, living together and holding their property in common. See Fourierism.
  • n. In anatomy and zoology:
  • n. A row or series of bones in the fingers or toes.
  • n. One of the bones of the fingers or toes; a digital internode, succeeding the metacarpal or metatarsal bones, collectively constituting the skeleton of the third and distal segment of the hand or foot: so called from their regular disposition in several rows.
  • n. One of the fiddle-shaped cells of the lamina reticularis of the Cortian organ. Also called Deiters's phalanges.
  • n. In zoology, a group or series of animals, of indeterminate classificatory value; one of several groups which may be interposed above genera and below classes or orders.
  • n. In entomology, any one of the joints of the tarsus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a body of troops in close array
  • n. any of the bones of the fingers or toes
  • n. any closely ranked crowd of people

Etymologies

Latin phalanx, phalang-, from Greek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek φάλαγξ (phalanks, "battle order, array"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.