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Webster's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition

Webster's Dictionary 1828

Americal Dictionary of the English Language

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Phalanx

PHAL'ANX, noun In Grecian antiquity, a square battalion or body of soldiers, formed in ranks and files close and deep, with their shields joined and pikes crossing each other, so as to render it almost impossible to break it. The Macedonian phalanx celebrated for its force, consisted of 8000 men; but smaller bodies of soldiers were called by the same name.

1. Any body of troops or men formed in close array, or any combination of people distinguished for firmness and solidity of union.

2. In anatomy, the three rows of small bones forming the fingers.

3. In natural history, a term used to express the arrangement of the columns of a sort of fossil corolloid, called lithostrotion, found in Wales.