Etymology
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Words related to flank

link (n.)
early 15c., "one of a series of rings or loops which form a chain; section of a cord," probably from Old Norse *hlenkr or a similar Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse hlekkr "link," in plural, "chain;" Old Swedish lænker "chain, link," Norwegian lenke "a link," Danish lænke "a chain," German Gelenk "articulation, a joint of the body; a link, ring"), from Proto-Germanic *khlink- (source also of German lenken "to bend, turn, lead"), from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn." Related to lank, flank, flinch.

The noun is not found in Old English, where it is represented by lank "the hip" ("turn of the body"), hlencan (plural) "armor." Meaning "a division of a sausage made in a continuous chain" is from mid-15c. Meaning "anything serving to connect one thing or part with another" is from 1540s. Sense of "means of telecommunication between two points" is from 1911. Missing link between man and apes dates to 1880.
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outflank (v.)

1765, "to extend or get beyond the flank" (of an opposing army), from out- + flank (v.). Figurative use, get the better of, outmaneuver," is from 1773. Related: Outflanked; outflanking.

fianchetto (n.)
chess move, 1847, Italian, diminutive of fianco "flank (attack)," from Old French flanc "hip, side" (see flank (n.)).
flange (n.)
1680s, "a widening or branching out," of unknown origin, perhaps related to Old French flanche "flank, hip, side," fem. of flanc (see flank (n.)). Meaning "projecting rim, etc., used for strength or guidance" is from 1735. As a verb from 1820.
flanker (n.)
1550s, from flank (n.).
lank (adj.)

Old English hlanc "loose and empty, meagerly slim, flaccid," from Proto-Germanic *hlanka-, forming words meaning "to bend, turn," perhaps from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn," with a connecting notion of "flexible" (compare German lenken "to bend, turn aside;" see flank (n.)). In Middle English, "Some examples may be long adj. with unvoicing of g" [The Middle English Compendium]. In reference to hair, "straight and flat," from 1680s. Related: Lankness (1640s).