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flake1

[fleyk]
noun
  1. a small, flat, thin piece, especially one that has been or become detached from a larger piece or mass: flakes of old paint.
  2. any small piece or mass: a flake of snow.
  3. a stratum or layer.
  4. Slang. an eccentric person; screwball.
  5. Slang. cocaine.
  6. a usually broad, often irregular piece of stone struck from a larger core and sometimes retouched to form a flake tool.
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verb (used without object), flaked, flak·ing.
  1. to peel off or separate in flakes.
  2. to fall in flakes, as snow.
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verb (used with object), flaked, flak·ing.
  1. to remove in flakes.
  2. to break flakes or chips from; break into flakes: to flake fish for a casserole.
  3. to cover with or as if with flakes.
  4. to form into flakes.
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Origin of flake1

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English; akin to Old English flac- in flacox flying (said of arrows), Old Norse flakka to rove, wander, Middle Dutch vlacken to flutter; (in def 4) by back formation from flaky, in sense “eccentric, odd”; (v.) late Middle English: to fall in flakes, derivative of the noun
Related formsflake·less, adjectiveflak·er, noun

flake3

[fleyk]Nautical
noun
  1. fake2(defs 2, 3).
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verb (used with object), flaked, flak·ing.
  1. fake2(def 1).
  2. to lower (a fore-and-aft sail) so as to drape the sail equally on both sides over its boom.
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Origin of flake3

First recorded in 1620–30; apparently variant of fake2

flake4

[fleyk]
verb, flaked, flak·ing.
  1. flake out, Slang. to fall asleep; take a nap.
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Origin of flake4

1935–40; perhaps expressive variant of flag3; compare British dialect flack to hang loosely, flap
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

leaf, exfoliate, sliver, plate, layer, slice, sheet, wafer, section, skin, disk, lamina, cell, foil, membrane, drop, pellicle, lamella, scab, shaving

Examples from the Web for flaked

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In places the brownstone front was cracked and great chips had flaked off.

    The Secret Wireless

    Lewis E. Theiss

  • And some of the rust had been flaked off around the spot, too.

    Smugglers' Reef

    John Blaine

  • The house fronts, flaked with light, disintegrated in the general vagueness.

    The Narrow House

    Evelyn Scott

  • Some are self-coloured, and some are mottled, striped, or flaked.

  • Crown-glass was easy to work, but flaked off in rather short pieces.

    Cruise of the 'Alert'

    R. W. Coppinger


British Dictionary definitions for flaked

flake1

noun
  1. a small thin piece or layer chipped off or detached from an object or substance; scale
  2. a small piece or particlea flake of snow
  3. a thin layer or stratum
  4. archaeol
    1. a fragment removed by chipping or hammering from a larger stone used as a tool or weaponSee also blade
    2. (as modifier)flake tool
  5. slang, mainly US an eccentric, crazy, or unreliable person
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verb
  1. to peel or cause to peel off in flakes; chip
  2. to cover or become covered with or as with flakes
  3. (tr) to form into flakes
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Derived Formsflaker, noun

Word Origin

C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian flak disc, Middle Dutch vlacken to flutter

flake2

noun
  1. a rack or platform for drying fish or other produce
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Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse flaki; related to Dutch vlaak hurdle

flake3

verb
  1. nautical another word for fake 1
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flake4

noun
  1. (in Australia) the commercial name for the meat of the gummy shark
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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 flaked

flake

v.

early 15c., "to fall in flakes," from flake (n.). Related: Flaked; flaking.

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flake

n.

"thin, flat piece," early 14c., possibly from Old English *flacca "flakes of snow," from Old Norse flak "loose or torn piece" (related to Old Norse fla "to skin," see flay), from Proto-Germanic *flago- (cf. Middle Dutch vlac, Dutch vlak "flat, level," Middle High German vlach, German Flocke "flake"); from PIE *plak- (1) "to be flat," extended form of root *pele- (2) "flat, to spread" (see plane (n.1)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

flaked in Science

flake

[flāk]
  1. A relatively thin, sharp-edged stone fragment removed from a core or from another flake by striking or prying, serving as a tool or blade itself or as a blank for making other tools. See more at flake tool.
  2. A small, symmetrical, six-sided crystal of snow. Flakes can be large or small and wet or dry, depending on weather conditions. They are white in color because of their large number of reflecting surfaces.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.