or flak·ey


adjective, flak·i·er, flak·i·est.

of or like flakes.
lying or cleaving off in flakes or layers.
Slang. eccentric; wacky; dizzy: a flaky math professor.

Nearby words

  1. flake out,
  2. flake tool,
  3. flake white,
  4. flakeboard,
  5. flakelet,
  6. flaky pastry,
  7. flam,
  8. flambe,
  9. flambeau,
  10. flamborough head

Origin of flaky

1570–80; 1965–70 for def 3; flake1 + -y1; sense of def. 3 probably flake4 + -y1, though influenced by flake1

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flakiness

  • The flakiness of pastry depends upon the kind and amount of shortening used.

    The Story of Crisco|Marion Harris Neil

British Dictionary definitions for flakiness


adjective flakier or flakiest

like or made of flakes
tending to peel off or break easily into flakes
Also: flakey US slang eccentric; crazy
Derived Formsflakily, adverbflakiness, noun

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 flakiness



1570s, from flake + -y (2). Meaning "eccentric, crazy" first recorded 1959, said to be American English baseball slang, but probably from earlier druggie slang flake "cocaine" (1920s). Flake "eccentric person" is a 1968 back-formation from it.

The term 'flake' needs explanation. It's an insider's word, used throughout baseball, usually as an adjective; someone is considered 'flaky.' It does not mean anything so crude as 'crazy,' but it's well beyond 'screwball' and far off to the side of 'eccentric.' ["New York Times," April 26, 1964]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper