flake

1
[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.
verb (used without object), flaked, flak·ing.
  1. to peel off or separate in flakes.
  2. to fall in flakes, as snow.
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.

Origin of flake

1
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

flake

3
[fleyk]Nautical
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.

Origin of flake

3
First recorded in 1620–30; apparently variant of fake2

flake

4
[fleyk]
verb, flaked, flak·ing.
  1. flake out, Slang. to fall asleep; take a nap.

Origin of flake

4
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


Examples from the Web for flaking

Historical Examples of flaking


British Dictionary definitions for flaking

flake

1
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
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
Derived Formsflaker, noun

Word Origin for flake

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

flake

2
noun
  1. a rack or platform for drying fish or other produce

Word Origin for flake

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

flake

3
verb
  1. nautical another word for fake 1

flake

4
noun
  1. (in Australia) the commercial name for the meat of the gummy shark
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 flaking

flake

v.

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

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)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

flaking 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.