fluke

1 [flook]
noun
1.
the part of an anchor that catches in the ground, especially the flat triangular piece at the end of each arm. See diag. under anchor.
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:
1555–65; perhaps special use of fluke3

Dictionary.com Unabridged

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:
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:
before 900; Middle English flok(e), fluke, Old English flōc; cognate with Old Norse flōki; compare Old High German flah flat (German flach)

flukeless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
fluke1 (fluːk)
 
n
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
 
[C16: perhaps a special use of fluke³ (in the sense: a flounder)]

fluke2 (fluːk)
 
n
1.  an accidental stroke of luck
2.  any chance happening
 
vb
3.  (tr) to gain, make, or hit by a fluke
 
[C19: of unknown origin]

fluke3 (fluːk)
 
n
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
 
[Old English flōc; related to Old Norse flōki flounder, Old Saxon flaka sole, Old High German flah smooth]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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

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

fluke
"flatfish," O.E. floc "flatfish," related to O.N. floke "flatfish," flak "disk, floe" (see flake). The parasite worm (1668) so called from resemblance of shape.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fluke 1 (flōōk)
n.
See trematode.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fluke   (flk)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Either of the two flattened fins of a whale's tail.

  2. See trematode.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
There is about a one in a thousand chance that this observation is a fluke.
It is easy to sympathize with fishermen who say that there are still plenty of
  fluke out there.
Elsewhere in the region, re-election may start to become a habit, not a fluke.
Even more remarkable, his mummification was a total fluke.
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