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[fleyk] /fleɪk/
verb, flaked, flaking.
flake out, Slang. to fall asleep; take a nap.
British dialect
1935-40; perhaps expressive variant of flag3; compare British dialect flack to hang loosely, flap Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for flake out

flake out

verb (intransitive, adverb)
(informal) to collapse or fall asleep as through extreme exhaustion


a small thin piece or layer chipped off or detached from an object or substance; scale
a small piece or particle: a flake of snow
a thin layer or stratum
  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
(slang, mainly US) an eccentric, crazy, or unreliable person
to peel or cause to peel off in flakes; chip
to cover or become covered with or as with flakes
(transitive) to form into flakes
Derived Forms
flaker, noun
Word Origin
C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian flak disc, Middle Dutch vlacken to flutter


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


(nautical) another word for fake1


(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 out



"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)).


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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flake out in Science
  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 out

flake out

verb phrase
  1. flack out
  2. flake off
  3. To fail

[1970s+; origin uncertain; flax out in the third sense is found in New England dialect by 1891 and is probably related]



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

  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)
  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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Idioms and Phrases with flake out

flake out

Drop from exhaustion, faint. For example, After running the marathon, be simply flaked out on the ground. This expression possibly is derived from a now obsolete meaning of flake, “to become flabby or fall in folds.” [ ; c. 1940 ]
Lie down, go to sleep, as in Homeless persons flaked out in doorways. [ ; early 1940s ]
Lose one's nerve, as in Please don't flake out now. [ ; 1950s ]
Go crazy; also, cause someone to go crazy. For example, She just flaked out and we had to call an ambulance, or This project is flaking us out. The usages in def. 3 and 4 probably are derived from the adjective flaky, meaning “eccentric.” [ c. 1970 ]
Die, as in He flaked out last night. [ 1960s ]
Surprise, astonish, as in She said she'd just been made a partner, and that flaked me out. This usage appears to be a variant of freak out [ c. 1970 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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