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flake

1
[ fleyk ]
/ fleɪk /
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noun

verb (used without object), flaked, flak·ing.

to peel off or separate in flakes.
to fall in flakes, as snow.

verb (used with object), flaked, flak·ing.

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Origin of flake

1
First recorded in 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”; def. 4 by back formation from flaky, in sense “eccentric, odd”; (verb) late Middle English: “to fall in flakes,” derivative of the noun
flakeless, adjectiveflaker, noun

Definition for flake (2 of 4)

flake2
[ fleyk ]
/ fleɪk /

noun

a frame, as for drying fish.

Origin of flake

2
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English flake, fleke, from Old Norse flaki, fleki “bridge, hurdle”

Definition for flake (3 of 4)

flake3
[ fleyk ]
/ fleɪk /
Nautical

noun

verb (used with object), flaked, flak·ing.

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

Definition for flake (4 of 4)

flake4
[ fleyk ]
/ fleɪk /

verb (used without object), flaked, flak·ing.Slang.

to back out of a plan, promise, engagement, agreement, etc.; fail to follow through on something (usually followed by out): We had a 3 o’clock appointment, but he flaked on me an hour before.
to fall asleep; take a nap (usually followed by out): She drank way too much and flaked out on my couch.

Origin of flake

4
First recorded in 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. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for flake (1 of 4)

flake1
/ (fleɪk) /

noun

verb

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

British Dictionary definitions for flake (2 of 4)

flake2
/ (fleɪk) /

noun

a rack or platform for drying fish or other produce
C14: from Old Norse flaki; related to Dutch vlaak hurdle

British Dictionary definitions for flake (3 of 4)

flake3
/ (fleɪk) /

verb

nautical another word for fake 1

British Dictionary definitions for flake (4 of 4)

flake4
/ (fleɪk) /

noun

(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

Scientific definitions for flake

flake
[ flāk ]

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.
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.
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