Part of speech: noun
Origin: Greek, 16th century
A group of people or things of a similar type forming a compact body.
Examples of Phalanx in a sentence
"Getting off the plane, I passed a phalanx of families waiting to be reunited with loved ones."
"Every Saturday just before lunch, a phalanx of parents with strollers makes the park nearly impassable."
Popularity Over Time
“Phalanx” comes from the same term in Latin, based on the ancient Greek “φάλαγξ” (“phalanx”), meaning “battle order.”
Did you Know?
The first phalanx was developed by militaries in ancient Macedonia: It was a military unit in a formation of closely arrayed soldiers overlapping their shields and crossing their spears, making themselves difficult to attack. However, even by the fourth century, the Latin term had expanded beyond its military meaning to describe any group of people gathered closely together. In modern use, “phalanx” often calls back to its military roots by evoking a hostile or demanding group, or a group that is difficult to pass. For example, a film star may find herself surrounded by a phalanx of fans asking for her autograph, and a kindergarten teacher giving out ice cream may be surrounded by a phalanx of hungry children.