- The definition of a phalanx is a community or group of people who are close or united for a purpose.
An example of a phalanx is a group of friends huddled together for warmth.
nounpl. phalanxes, phalanges
- an ancient military formation of infantry in close, deep ranks with shields overlapping and spears extended
- a massed group of individuals; compact body
- a group of individuals united for a common purpose
- the people forming a phalanstery
- Anat. any of the bones forming the fingers or toes
Origin of phalanxClassical Latin ; from Classical Greek line of battle, bone between fingers, origin, originally , log ; from Indo-European base an unverified form bhel-, log from source balk
nounpl. pha·lanx·es or pha·lan·ges
- A compact or close-knit body of people: “formed a solid phalanx in defense of the Constitution and Protestant religion” (G.M. Trevelyan).
- A formation of infantry carrying overlapping shields and long spears, developed by Philip II of Macedon and used by Alexander the Great.
- pl. phalanges phalanges Anatomy A bone of a finger or toe. Also called phalange.
- See phalanstery.
Origin of phalanxLatin phalanx, phalang-, from Greek.
(plural phalanxes or phalanges)
- (plural phalanxes) a large group of people, animals or things, compact or closely massed, or tightly knit and united in common purpose.
- (anatomy, plural phalanges) One of the bones of the finger or toe.
- (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.
- (historical sociology) A Fourierite utopian community; a phalanstery.
From Ancient Greek φάλαγξ (phalanks, “battle order, array”).
- The brand name of a radar-controlled rapid fire 20mm Gatling-type machine gun, the Phalanx CIWS (pronounced see-wiz), deployed on U.S. Navy ships as a last line of defense against antiship cruise missiles.