American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
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. The celebrated Macedonian phalanx was normally drawn up sixteen ranks deep, the men being clad in armor, bearing shields, and armed with swords and with spears from 21 to 24 feet long. In array the shields formed a continuous bulwark, and the ranks were placed at such intervals that five spears which were borne pointed forward and upward protected every man in the front rank. The phalanx on smooth ground, and with its flanks and rear adequately protected, was practically invincible; but it was cumbrous and slow in movement, and if once broken could only with great difficulty be reformed.
- 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. The normal number of the phalanges of each digit is three. This is only exceptionally increased, as in the flippers of some cetaceans and extinct reptiles; but it is frequently reduced, as in most of the digits of birds, and in the inner digits of mammals which have five fingers and toes. In man the phalanges of the fingers and toes are each fourteen, three to every digit excepting the thumb and great toe, which have two apiece. The original implication of the term seems to have been any one of the cross-rows of small bones between the successive knuckles of the fingers or toes, or the longitudinal series of small bones of any one finger or toe. But usage transfers the sense of
phalanxto any one of these bones, two or more of which are phalanges. See cuts under Artiodactyla, carpus, Catarrhina, foot, hand, Ichthyosauria, Perissodactyla. pinion, Plesiosaurus, solidungulate, tarsus, and Ornithoscelida.
- 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. A phalanx frequently corresponds in value to a subfamily, but has no recognized fixed place in classification. Sometimes synonymous with cohort or agmen.
- n. In entomology, any one of the joints of the tarsus.
- n. a large group of people, animals or things, compact or closely massed, or tightly knit and united in common purpose.
- n. anatomy One of the bones of the finger or toe.
- n. historical 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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Gr. Antiq.) 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. (Anat.) One of the digital bones of the hand or foot, beyond the metacarpus or metatarsus; an internode.
- n. (Bot.) A group or bundle of stamens, as in polyadelphous flowers.
- 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
- From Ancient Greek φάλαγξ (phalanks, "battle order, array"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin phalanx, phalang-, from Greek. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He made preparations for an expedition to the Pass of the Caspian mountains, forming a new legion out of his late levies in Italy, of men all six feet high, which he called the phalanx of Alexander the Great.”
“; forming a new legion out of his late levies in Italy, of men all six feet high, which he called the phalanx of Alexander the Great.”
“Coming down the pier were royal thranites, holding their polished and gleaming oars aloft while they marched in phalanx step down to the gangplank.”
“My father believed, like Pericles, that a man's genius could be easily judged by the number of unenlightened fools set in phalanx against his ideas.”
“The first phalanx is short, and indicates that above all other things he is a man of heart and will be dominated by his affections.”
“I've read something somewhere arguing that the whole of Western Europe has a cultural attitude to war that can be traced back to the Greek and especially Spartan phalanx, which is heavy infantry par excellence.”
“Because it lacked tactical flexilibity sic, the phalanx was a better defensive than offensive formation.”
“By virtue of that military device known as the phalanx, Alexander conquered his bit of the world.”
“She did not fall in love at first sight with the Northampton Association, for she arrived there at a time when appearances did not correspond with the ideas of associationists, as they had been spread out in their writings; for their phalanx was a factory, and they were wanting in means to carry out their ideas of beauty and elegance, as they would have done in different circumstances.”
Narrative of Sojourner Truth; a Bondswoman of Olden Time, Emancipated by the New York Legislature in the Early Part of the Present Century; with a History of Her Labors and Correspondence Drawn from Her "Book of Life;" Also, a Memorial Chapter, Giving the Particulars of Her Last Sickness and Death
“Association, for she arrived there at a time when appearances did not correspond with the ideas of associationists, as they had been spread out in their writings; for their phalanx was a factory, and they were wanting in means to carry out their ideas of beauty and elegance, as they would have done in different circumstances.”
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