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cake

[keyk]
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noun
  1. a sweet, baked, breadlike food, made with or without shortening, and usually containing flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, eggs, and liquid flavoring.
  2. a flat, thin mass of bread, especially unleavened bread.
  3. pancake; griddlecake.
  4. a shaped or molded mass of other food: a fish cake.
  5. a shaped or compressed mass: a cake of soap; a cake of ice.
  6. Animal Husbandry. a compacted block of soybeans, cottonseeds, or linseeds from which the oil has been pressed, usually used as a feed or feed supplement for cattle.
verb (used with object), caked, cak·ing.
  1. to form into a crust or compact mass.
verb (used without object), caked, cak·ing.
  1. to become formed into a crust or compact mass.
Idioms
  1. a piece of cake, Informal. something easily done: She thought her first solo flight was a piece of cake.
  2. take the cake, Informal.
    1. to surpass all others, especially in some undesirable quality; be extraordinary or unusual: His arrogance takes the cake.
    2. to win first prize.

Origin of cake

1200–50; Middle English < Old Norse kaka; akin to Middle English kechel little cake, German Kuchen; see cookie
Related formscak·y, cak·ey, adjectivenon·cak·ing, adjective, nounun·cake, verb (used with object), un·caked, un·cak·ing.

Synonyms

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8. harden, solidify, dry, congeal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for piece of cake

cake

noun
  1. a baked food, usually in loaf or layer form, typically made from a mixture of flour, sugar, and eggs
  2. a flat thin mass of bread, esp unleavened bread
  3. a shaped mass of dough or other food of similar consistencya fish cake
  4. a mass, slab, or crust of a solidified or compressed substance, as of soap or ice
  5. have one's cake and eat it to enjoy both of two desirable but incompatible alternatives
  6. go like hot cakes or sell like hot cakes informal to be sold very quickly or in large quantities
  7. piece of cake informal something that is easily achieved or obtained
  8. take the cake informal to surpass all others, esp in stupidity, folly, etc
  9. informal the whole or total of something that is to be shared or dividedthe miners are demanding a larger slice of the cake; that is a fair method of sharing the cake
verb
  1. (tr) to cover with a hard layer; encrustthe hull was caked with salt
  2. to form or be formed into a hardened mass
Derived Formscakey or caky, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse kaka; related to Danish kage, German Kuchen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for piece of cake

cake

v.

c.1600, from cake (n.). Related: Caked; caking.

cake

n.

early 13c., from Old Norse kaka "cake," from West Germanic *kokon- (cf. Middle Dutch koke, Dutch koek, Old High German huohho, German Kuchen). Not now believed to be related to Latin coquere "to cook," as formerly supposed. Replaced its Old English cognate, coecel.

What man, I trow ye raue, Wolde ye bothe eate your cake and haue your cake? ["The Proverbs & Epigrams of John Heywood," 1562]

Originally (until early 15c.) "a flat, round loaf of bread." Piece of cake "something easy" is from 1936. The let them eat cake story is found in Rousseau's "Confessions," in reference to an incident c.1740, long before Marie Antoinette, though it has been associated with her since c.1870; it apparently was a chestnut in the French royal family that had been told of other princesses and queens before her.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with piece of cake

piece of cake

Something easily accomplished, as in I had no trouble finding your house—a piece of cake. This expression originated in the Royal Air Force in the late 1930s for an easy mission, and the precise reference is as mysterious as that of the simile easy as pie. Possibly it evokes the easy accomplishment of swallowing a slice of sweet dessert.

cake

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.