fluke

1
[flook]
See more synonyms for fluke on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the part of an anchor that catches in the ground, especially the flat triangular piece at the end of each arm.
  2. a barb, or the barbed head, of a harpoon, spear, arrow, or the like.
  3. either half of the triangular tail of a whale.

Origin of fluke

1
First recorded in 1555–65; perhaps special use of fluke3

fluke

2
[flook]
noun
  1. an accidental advantage; stroke of good luck: He got the job by a fluke.
  2. an accident or chance happening.
  3. an accidentally successful stroke, as in billiards.

Origin of fluke

2
First recorded in 1855–60; of obscure origin; compare dial. fluke a guess

fluke

3
[flook]
noun
  1. any of several American flounders of the genus Paralichthys, especially P. dentatus, found in the Atlantic Ocean.
  2. any of various other flatfishes.
  3. a trematode.

Origin of fluke

3
before 900; Middle English flok(e), fluke, Old English flōc; cognate with Old Norse flōki; compare Old High German flah flat (German flach)
Related formsfluke·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for fluke

Contemporary Examples of fluke

Historical Examples of fluke

  • He doesn't seem to know me at all, and I believe his shot at me by way of my father was a fluke.

  • Jenkins was reliable, usually, and hadn't come up with a fluke yet.

    Pleasant Journey

    Richard F. Thieme

  • This time there could be no fluke, for the great Red McGloin was up on the favorite.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • He was to ride; ride the winner of the last Carter, the winner of a fluke race.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • He is most awfully rich, too, and he came into his money quite by a fluke.

    The Adventurous Seven

    Bessie Marchant


British Dictionary definitions for fluke

fluke

1
noun
  1. Also called: flue a flat bladelike projection at the end of the arm of an anchor
  2. either of the two lobes of the tail of a whale or related animal
  3. Also called: flue the barb or barbed head of a harpoon, arrow, etc

Word Origin for fluke

C16: perhaps a special use of fluke ³ (in the sense: a flounder)

fluke

2
noun
  1. an accidental stroke of luck
  2. any chance happening
verb
  1. (tr) to gain, make, or hit by a fluke

Word Origin for fluke

C19: of unknown origin

fluke

3
noun
  1. any parasitic flatworm, such as the blood fluke and liver fluke, of the classes Monogenea and Digenea (formerly united in a single class Trematoda)
  2. another name for flounder 2 (def. 1)

Word Origin for fluke

Old English flōc; related to Old Norse flōki flounder, Old Saxon flaka sole, Old High German flah smooth
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 fluke
n.1

"flat end of an arm of an anchor," 1560s, perhaps from fluke (n.3) on resemblance of shape, or from Low German flügel "wing." Meaning "whale's tail" (in plural, flukes) is 1725.

n.2

"lucky stroke, chance hit," 1857, originally a lucky shot at billiards, of uncertain origin.

n.3

"flatfish," Old English floc "flatfish," related to Old Norse floke "flatfish," flak "disk, floe" (see flake (n.)). The parasite worm (1660s) so called from resemblance of shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fluke in Medicine

fluke

[flōōk]
n.
  1. trematode
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

fluke in Science

fluke

[flōōk]
  1. Either of the two flattened fins of a whale's tail.
  2. See trematode.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.