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flake1

[fleyk] /fleɪk/
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
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
Related forms
flakeless, adjective
flaker, noun

flake2

[fleyk] /fleɪk/
noun
1.
a frame, as for drying fish.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English flake, fleke < Old Norse flaki, fleki bridge, hurdle

flake3

[fleyk] /fleɪk/
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

flake4

[fleyk] /fleɪk/
verb, flaked, flaking.
1.
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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Examples from the web for flake
  • 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.
  • Some consumers are wary of the coatings, and manufacturers do warn against ingesting the compounds if they start to flake off.
  • Both had full control of fire, diets heavily based on meat, and the ability to flake stone to make tools.
  • Armies of workers make sure that not a flake of snow sullies its surface in winter.
  • Moreover, they show flake scars, the marks that are left when a hammering tool chips bone.
  • But the illusion was brief, shattered by the mere touch of a single white flake--ash--singeing exposed skin.
British Dictionary definitions for flake

flake1

/fleɪk/
noun
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)
  1. a fragment removed by chipping or hammering from a larger stone used as a tool or weapon See also blade
  2. (as modifier): flake tool
5.
(slang, mainly US) an eccentric, crazy, or unreliable person
verb
6.
to peel or cause to peel off in flakes; chip
7.
to cover or become covered with or as with flakes
8.
(transitive) to form into flakes
Derived Forms
flaker, noun
Word Origin
C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian flak disc, Middle Dutch vlacken to flutter

flake2

/fleɪk/
noun
1.
a rack or platform for drying fish or other produce
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse flaki; related to Dutch vlaak hurdle

flake3

/fleɪk/
verb
1.
(nautical) another word for fake1

flake4

/fleɪk/
noun
1.
(in Australia) the commercial name for the meat of the gummy shark
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
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Word Origin and History for flake
n.

"thin, flat piece," early 14c., possibly from Old English *flacca "flakes of snow," from Old Norse flak "loose or torn piece" (related to Old Norse fla "to skin," see flay), from Proto-Germanic *flago- (cf. Middle Dutch vlac, Dutch vlak "flat, level," Middle High German vlach, German Flocke "flake"); from PIE *plak- (1) "to be flat," extended form of root *pele- (2) "flat, to spread" (see plane (n.1)).

v.

early 15c., "to fall in flakes," from flake (n.). Related: Flaked; flaking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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flake in Science
flake
  (flāk)   
  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 definitions & phrases for flake

flake

adjective

: Don't act so flake (1960s+ Baseball)

noun
  1. An eccentric person, esp a colorful individualist; bird: what is known in the trade as a flake, a kook, or a clubhouse lawyer/ Users and flakes clung to her (1950s+ Baseball)
  2. The quality of flamboyant individualism: The Yankees have acquired an amount of ''flake'' (1960s+ Baseball)
  3. A stupid, erratic person; retard (1960s+ Teenagers)
  4. Cocaine (1920s+ Narcotics)
  5. An arrest made in order to meet a quota; accommodation collar (1970s+ Police)
verb
  1. To arrest someone on false or invented charges; frame (1970s+ Police)
  2. To plant evidence on a suspect: I have a throwaway gun. We're going to flake him (1970s+ Police)
  3. To cancel an appointment without notice; STAND someone UP: It is already seven o'clock; I guess he flaked (1980s+ Students)

[all except police senses ultimately fr an attested phrase snow flakes, ''cocaine'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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