phalanx

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pha·lanx / ˈfālangks; ˈfal-/ • n. 1. (pl. pha·lanx·es ) a group of people or things of a similar type forming a compact body or brought together for a common purpose: he headed past the phalanx of waiting reporters to the line of limos. ∎  a body of troops or police officers, standing or moving in close formation: six hundred marchers set off, led by a phalanx of police. ∎  (in ancient Greece) a body of Macedonian infantry with long spears, drawn up in close order with shields overlapping. 2. (pl. pha·lan·ges / fəˈlanjēz; fāˈlanjēz/ ) Anat. a bone of the finger or toe.

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phalanx, ancient Greek formation of infantry. The soldiers were arrayed in rows (8 or 16), with arms at the ready, making a solid block that could sweep bristling through the more dispersed ranks of the enemy. Originally employed by the Spartans, it was developed by Epaminondas of Thebes (d. 362 BC). Use of the phalanx reached its apex when Philip II and Alexander the Great used the great Macedonian phalanx (16 deep and armed with the sarissa, a spear c.13 ft/4 m long) to conquer all Greece and the Middle East. Later, the Macedonian phalanx deteriorated and had few Macedonians in it; it was defeated in several battles with the Romans who conquered (168 BC) the Macedonians at Pydna. Thereafter the phalanx was obsolete. Because it lacked tactical flexilibity, the phalanx was a better defensive than offensive formation.

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Phalanx

a line or array of battle; a compact group of people or animals prepared for attack or defence; a body of persons or things drawn up together in a common purpose.

Examples : phalanx of cavaliers and dames, 1837; of elms, 1891; of Greeks, 1983; of infantry; of lawyers, 1817; of sheep, 1785; of soldiers, 1553; of migrating storks, 1733.

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phalanx (in ancient Greece) a body of Macedonian infantry drawn up in close order with shields touching and long spears overlapping.

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phalanx line of battle XVI; (anat.) joint of a digit XVII; (bot.) bundle of stamens XVIII. — L. — Gr. phálagx.
So phalange XVI. — F. — L.

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phalanx (fal-anks) n. see phalanges.

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phalanx See PHALANGE.