"to bend, to turn"
(There are several Indo-European roots that revolve around the idea of bending. This one is the origin of English words like "link" and "flank" but it has more relatives in German. )
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Word Family

Root: *kleng-

This is one of multiple Indo-European roots that were about the core idea:

bending, turning

This family is fairly small and the main English relatives are to link (bending something so you can connect it), flank (where the body bends) and flinch (bending the face).

The German lenken has shifted toward the sense of “giving a direction“.

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