Definition of outflank in English:



  • 1Move round the side of (an enemy) so as to outmanoeuvre them.

    ‘the Germans had sought to outflank them from the north-east’
    • ‘‘We're going to outflank the enemy and catch them by surprise,’ she told them.’
    • ‘And it was the Japanese, too, who achieved the most astounding military victory in Malaya in 1942 with the assistance of the bike, which their army used to outflank the ponderous British forces.’
    • ‘The purpose was to break the stabilized situation by outflanking besieged Madrid with an Italian motorized corps from the north and then linking up with nationalist forces.’
    • ‘If the group is staggered or further spread out so you can't outflank them to the side, you have to become especially evasive.’
    • ‘Static warfare prevented observation of anything beyond the front line by ground forces, which could not hope to outflank the enemy to observe unseen.’
    • ‘Late in November 1950, they attacked the weaker South Korean units, drove them back, and partially outflanked the neighboring and suddenly vulnerable U.N. troops.’
    • ‘It was designed to deliver a frontal strike and to create a chance to outflank the enemy's strong points.’
    • ‘The side on an offensive should try to envelop or to outflank the strong points and attack them simultaneously from the front, at the flanks and in the rear.’
    • ‘In this way they hoped to prevent the enemy from outflanking them.’
    • ‘His squadron was now racing back through the Dominion battle group to engage the Alliance fleet moving to outflank.’
    • ‘But if you don't have the military forces to win, you've got to outflank them, with strategic defense.’
    • ‘They were under orders to circle south and east to surround Paris and outflank the Allied armies, ending the war within six weeks.’
    • ‘Fifteen hundred troops were landed to outflank the forts.’
    • ‘But finding his army outflanked by Cromwell, he moved south in August, making for the old royalist strongholds of Wales and the west midlands.’
    • ‘In ancient times, the wedge was used to allow a formation to rapidly change directions and outflank an opponent.’
    • ‘But the important thing was to outflank the enemy.’
    • ‘As each side tried to outflank the other, a ‘race to the sea’ developed and this meant that huge trench systems took shape from the Swiss border through all of northern France.’
    circumvent, bypass, shake off, throw off, get around
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    1. 1.1 Outwit.
      ‘an attempt to outflank the opposition’
      • ‘But most of the other attempts to outflank fashion end up as commentaries which have much less power than the commercially honed objects from which they attempt to distance themselves.’
      • ‘His call to buy more shares and move away from residential property has been labelled an attempt to outflank political opponents on the right.’
      • ‘The promotion was an attempt to outflank its rival, which was winning over viewers by hiring younger, more attractive presenters.’
      • ‘He has so far cleverly outwitted and outflanked this attempt to marginalize him on the political stage.’
      • ‘One such coalition in Oxford resulted in them being outflanked on the left by New Labour after the predictable round of compromises made because of budgetary restraints.’