flake

1 [fleyk]
noun
1.
a small, flat, thin piece, especially one that has been or become detached from a larger piece or mass: flakes of old paint.
2.
any small piece or mass: a flake of snow.
3.
a stratum or layer.
4.
Slang. an eccentric person; screwball.
5.
Slang. cocaine.
6.
a usually broad, often irregular piece of stone struck from a larger core and sometimes retouched to form a flake tool.
verb (used without object), flaked, flaking.
7.
to peel off or separate in flakes.
8.
to fall in flakes, as snow.
verb (used with object), flaked, flaking.
9.
to remove in flakes.
10.
to break flakes or chips from; break into flakes: to flake fish for a casserole.
11.
to cover with or as if with flakes.
12.
to form into flakes.

Origin:
1350–1400; (noun) Middle English; akin to Old English flac- in flacox flying (said of arrows), Old Norse flakka to rove, wander, Middle Dutch vlacken to flutter; (in def 4) by back formation from flaky, in sense “eccentric, odd”; (v.) late Middle English: to fall in flakes, derivative of the noun

flakeless, adjective
flaker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged

flake

2 [fleyk]
noun
a frame, as for drying fish.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English flake, fleke < Old Norse flaki, fleki bridge, hurdle

flake

3 [fleyk] Nautical.
noun
1.
fake2 ( defs 1, 2 ).
verb (used with object), flaked, flaking.
2.
fake2 ( def 3 ).
3.
to lower (a fore-and-aft sail) so as to drape the sail equally on both sides over its boom.

Origin:
1620–30; apparently variant of fake2

flake

4 [fleyk]
verb, flaked, flaking.
flake out, Slang. to fall asleep; take a nap.

Origin:
1935–40; perhaps expressive variant of flag3; compare British dialect flack to hang loosely, flap

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
flake1 (fleɪk)
 
n
1.  a small thin piece or layer chipped off or detached from an object or substance; scale
2.  a small piece or particle: a flake of snow
3.  a thin layer or stratum
4.  archaeol
 a.  See also blade a fragment removed by chipping or hammering from a larger stone used as a tool or weapon
 b.  (as modifier): flake tool
5.  slang chiefly (US) an eccentric, crazy, or unreliable person
 
vb
6.  to peel or cause to peel off in flakes; chip
7.  to cover or become covered with or as with flakes
8.  (tr) to form into flakes
 
[C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian flak disc, Middle Dutch vlacken to flutter]
 
'flaker1
 
n

flake2 (fleɪk)
 
n
a rack or platform for drying fish or other produce
 
[C14: from Old Norse flaki; related to Dutch vlaak hurdle]

flake3 (fleɪk)
 
vb
nautical another word for fake

flake4 (fleɪk)
 
n
(in Australia) the commercial name for the meat of the gummy shark

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

flake
early 14c., possibly from O.E. *flacca "flakes of snow," from O.N. flak "loose or torn piece" (related to O.N. fla "to skin," see flay), from P.Gmc. *flak- (cf. M.Du. vlac "flat, level," M.H.G. vlach, Ger. Flocke "flake"); from the same PIE root as L. plaga "a flat surface,
district, region." The verb is attested from early 15c. Related: Flaked; flaking.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
flake   (flāk)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A relatively thin, sharp-edged stone fragment removed from a core or from another flake by striking or prying, serving as a tool or blade itself or as a blank for making other tools. See more at flake tool.

  2. A small, symmetrical, six-sided crystal of snow. Flakes can be large or small and wet or dry, depending on weather conditions. They are white in color because of their large number of reflecting surfaces.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary

flake definition


  1. n.
    a person who acts silly or giddy. : Sally is such a flake!
  2. n.
    a medicinal form of crystallized cocaine. (Drugs. Similar to crack.) : Where can I get some flake around here?
  3. tv.
    [for the police] to place drugs or traces of drugs on a person during an arrest. (Underworld. The person is then charged with possession of drugs.) : That's not mine! You flaked me!
  4. n.
    and flakes. phencyclidine (PCP), an animal tranquilizer. : Even Shorty won't sell flake, and he's not what I would call a concerned citizen.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source

flake (out) definition


  1. in.
    to pass out from exhaustion; to fall asleep. (See also flack (out).) : After jogging, I usually flake for a while.
  2. in.
    to fall asleep after drug use. (Drugs.) : An hour after she took the stuff, she just flaked.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
These blisters can cause intense itching and scaly patches of skin that flake constantly or become red, cracked, and painful.
It's painted the original color of turquoise and white metal flake he interior matches the exterior.
Armies of workers make sure that not a flake of snow sullies its surface in winter.
But the illusion was brief, shattered by the mere touch of a single white flake--ash--singeing exposed skin.
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