the side of a hog (or, formerly, some other animal) salted and cured: a flitch of bacon.
a steak cut from a halibut.
  1. a piece, as a board, forming part of a flitch beam.
  2. a thin piece of wood, as a veneer.
  3. a bundle of veneers, arranged as cut from the log.
  4. a log about to be cut into veneers.
  5. cant2(def 8).

verb (used with object)

to cut into flitches.
Carpentry. to assemble (boards or the like) into a laminated construction.

Origin of flitch

before 900; Middle English flicche, Old English flicca; cognate with Middle Low German vlicke, Old Norse flikki
Related formsun·flitched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flitch

Historical Examples of flitch

  • Here are butter and eggs, here is tea, here is sugar, and there is a flitch.


    George Borrow

  • The livin's no better, it's flitch every meal; they haven't had pie or cake since we came.

  • Even a flitch of bacon hung on a cord was riddled with their tiny teeth-marks.

    Everyday Adventures

    Samuel Scoville

  • Camden informs us that he instituted the custom of the flitch of bacon of Dunmow.

    Bygone London

    Frederick Ross

  • Of Flixton in Lancashire the authorities suggest, “perhaps a town of the flitch”.

    Archaic England

    Harold Bayley

British Dictionary definitions for flitch



a side of pork salted and cured
a steak cut from the side of certain fishes, esp halibut
a piece of timber cut lengthways from a tree trunk, esp one that is larger than 4 by 12 inches


(tr) to cut (a tree trunk) into flitches

Word Origin for flitch

Old English flicce; related to Old Norse flikki, Middle Low German vlicke, Norwegian flika; see flesh
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 flitch

"side of bacon," Middle English flicche (early 13c.), from Old English flicce, related to Old Norse flikki, Middle Low German vlicke "piece of flesh." Not immediately connected to flesh (n.), but perhaps from the same PIE root. A flitch was presented every year at Dunmow, in Essex, to any married couple who could prove they had lived together without quarreling for a year and a day, a custom mentioned as far back as mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper