[flask, flahsk]


a bottle, usually of glass, having a rounded body and a narrow neck, used especially in laboratory experimentation.
a flat metal or glass bottle for carrying in the pocket: a flask of brandy.
an iron container for shipping mercury, holding a standard commercial unit of 76 pounds (34 kg).
Metallurgy. a container into which sand is rammed around a pattern to form a mold.

Origin of flask

1375–1425; late Middle English: cask, keg < Anglo-French, Old French flaske < Late Latin flasca, earlier flascō, of uncertain origin; compare Old English flasce, flaxe, Old High German flasca (German flasche); cf. flagon


[flask, flahsk]

noun Ordnance.

the armored plates making up the sides of a gun-carriage trail.
Obsolete. the bed of a gun carriage.

Origin of flask

1570–80; < dialectal French flasque cheek of a gun carriage < Late Latin flasca flask1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flask

Contemporary Examples of flask

Historical Examples of flask

  • "And bring with him a flask of holy water," added the knight of Bohemia.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The pressing of this ball actuates a detonator inside the flask I carry in my pocket.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • Some of them could drink from the flask, which made our work shorter.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • "We are glad to see thee, brother," said he, holding out the flask of Malmsey.

  • This flask does not contain fly-dope--that's in the other flask--it contains whisky.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for flask



a bottle with a narrow neck, esp used in a laboratory or for wine, oil, etc
Also called: hip flask a small flattened container of glass or metal designed to be carried in a pocket, esp for liquor
a container packed with sand to form a mould in a foundry
Also called: cask, coffin engineering a container used for transporting irradiated nuclear fuel

Word Origin for flask

C14: from Old French flasque, flaske, from Medieval Latin flasca, flasco, perhaps of Germanic origin; compare Old English flasce, flaxe
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 flask

mid-14c., from Medieval Latin flasco "container, bottle," from Late Latin flasconem "bottle," perhaps from a Germanic source (cf. Old English flasce, Old High German flaska, Middle Dutch flasce, German Flasche "bottle"), and if so, perhaps originally meaning "a bottle plaited round, case bottle" (cf. Old High German flechtan "to weave," Old English fleohtan "to braid, plait"), from Proto-Germanic base *fleh- (see flax).

Another theory traces it to a metathesis of Latin vasculum. "The assumption that the word is of Teut. origin is chronologically legitimate, and presents no difficulty exc. the absence of any satisfactory etymology" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

flask in Science



A rounded container with a long neck, used in laboratories.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.