Pronunciation: (fā'langks, fal'angks),[key] —n., pl.pha•lanx•es or, for 7,pha•lan•gesPronunciation: (fu-lan'jēz),[key] —v.
—n. 1. (in ancient Greece) a group of heavily armed infantry formed in ranks and files close and deep, with shields joined and long spears overlapping.
2. any body of troops in close array.
3. a number of individuals, esp. persons united for a common purpose.
4. a compact or closely massed body of persons, animals, or things.
5. Mil.(cap.) a radar-controlled U.S. Navy 20mm Gatling-type gun deployed on ships as a last line of defense against antiship cruise missiles.
6. (in Fourierism) a group of about 1800 persons, living together and holding their property in common.
7. Anat.,Zool.any of the bones of the fingers or toes. See diag. under skeleton.
—v.i. Print.to arrange the distribution of work in a shop as evenly as possible.