[ flaw ]
/ flɔ /


a feature that mars the perfection of something; defect; fault: beauty without flaw; the flaws in our plan.
a defect impairing legal soundness or validity.
a crack, break, breach, or rent.

verb (used with object)

to produce a flaw in.

verb (used without object)

to contract a flaw; become cracked or defective.

Nearby words

  1. flavory,
  2. flavour,
  3. flavour enhancer,
  4. flavourful,
  5. flavouring,
  6. flawed,
  7. flawless,
  8. flawlessly,
  9. flax,
  10. flax kit

Origin of flaw

1275–1325; Middle English flaw(e), flage, perhaps < Old Norse flaga sliver, flake

Related formsflaw·less, adjective

Synonym study

1. See defect.


[ flaw ]
/ flɔ /


Also called windflaw. a sudden, usually brief windstorm or gust of wind.
a short spell of rough weather.
Obsolete. a burst of feeling, fury, etc.

Origin of flaw

First recorded in 1475–85, flaw is from the Old Norse word flaga attack, squall

Related formsflaw·y, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for flaw

British Dictionary definitions for flaw


/ (flɔː) /


an imperfection, defect, or blemish
a crack, breach, or rift
law an invalidating fault or defect in a document or proceeding


to make or become blemished, defective, or imperfect
Derived Formsflawless, adjectiveflawlessly, adverbflawlessness, noun

Word Origin for flaw

C14: probably from Old Norse flaga stone slab; related to Swedish flaga chip, flake, flaw


  1. a sudden short gust of wind; squall
  2. a spell of bad, esp windy, weather
obsolete an outburst of strong feeling
Derived Formsflawy, adjective

Word Origin for flaw

C16: of Scandinavian origin; related to Norwegian flaga squall, gust, Middle Dutch vlāghe

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 flaw
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper