verb (used with object), caked, cak·ing.
verb (used without object), caked, cak·ing.
- to surpass all others, especially in some undesirable quality; be extraordinary or unusual: His arrogance takes the cake.
- to win first prize.
Origin of cake
Synonyms for cake
Word Origin for cake
c.1600, from cake (n.). Related: Caked; caking.
early 13c., from Old Norse kaka "cake," from West Germanic *kokon- (cf. Middle Dutch koke, Dutch koek, Old High German huohho, German Kuchen). Not now believed to be related to Latin coquere "to cook," as formerly supposed. Replaced its Old English cognate, coecel.
What man, I trow ye raue, Wolde ye bothe eate your cake and haue your cake? ["The Proverbs & Epigrams of John Heywood," 1562]
Originally (until early 15c.) "a flat, round loaf of bread." Piece of cake "something easy" is from 1936. The let them eat cake story is found in Rousseau's "Confessions," in reference to an incident c.1740, long before Marie Antoinette, though it has been associated with her since c.1870; it apparently was a chestnut in the French royal family that had been told of other princesses and queens before her.
piece of cake
Something easily accomplished, as in I had no trouble finding your house—a piece of cake. This expression originated in the Royal Air Force in the late 1930s for an easy mission, and the precise reference is as mysterious as that of the simile easy as pie. Possibly it evokes the easy accomplishment of swallowing a slice of sweet dessert.
see eat one's cake and have it, too; flat as a pancake; icing on the cake; nutty as a fruitcake; piece of cake; sell like hot cakes; slice of the pie (cake); take the cake.