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flock1

[flok] /flɒk/
noun
1.
a number of animals of one kind, especially sheep, goats, or birds, that keep or feed together or are herded together.
2.
a large number of people; crowd.
3.
a large group of things:
a flock of letters to answer.
4.
  1. the Christian church in relation to Christ.
  2. a single congregation in relation to its pastor.
5.
Archaic. a band or company of persons.
verb (used without object)
6.
to gather or go in a flock or crowd:
They flocked around the football hero.
Origin
1000
before 1000; (noun) Middle English; Old English floc; cognate with Old Norse flokkr; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun
Related forms
flockless, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. bevy, covey, flight, gaggle; brood, hatch, litter; shoal, school, swarm, group, company. Flock, drove, herd, pack refer to a company of animals, often under the care or guidance of someone. Flock is the popular term, which applies to groups of animals, especially of sheep or goats, and companies of birds: This lamb is the choicest of the flock. A flock of wild geese flew overhead. Drove is especially applied to a number of oxen, sheep, or swine when driven in a group: A drove of oxen was taken to market. A large drove of swine filled the roadway. Herd is usually applied to large animals such as cattle, originally meaning those under the charge of someone; but by extension, to other animals feeding or driven together: a buffalo herd; a herd of elephants. Pack applies to a number of animals kept together or keeping together for offense or defense: a pack of hounds kept for hunting; a pack of wolves. As applied to people, drove, herd, and pack carry a contemptuous implication.
Usage note

flock2

[flok] /flɒk/
noun
1.
a lock or tuft of wool, hair, cotton, etc.
2.
(sometimes used with a plural verb) wool refuse, shearings of cloth, old cloth torn to pieces, or the like, for upholstering furniture, stuffing mattresses, etc.
3.
Also called flocking. (sometimes used with a plural verb) finely powdered wool, cloth, etc., used for producing a velvetlike pattern on wallpaper or cloth or for coating metal.
4.
floc (def 1).
verb (used with object)
5.
to stuff with flock, as a mattress.
6.
to decorate or coat with flock, as wallpaper, cloth, or metal.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English flok < Old French floc < Latin floccus floccus. Compare Old High German floccho
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for flock
  • Then he spread crumbs from a doughnut to gather a flock of pigeons.
  • The flock changed direction only when the initiator turned toward the flock.
  • Once everyone is in the new pasture, the sheep all flock together.
  • It's one of the wonders of the natural world-to see a flock of starlings pulse, wheel, and ripple as one across an evening sky.
  • There is a large flock gathered for the sunset and all is peaceful, the day dwindling into night.
  • But so far none of the other chickens have pecked her, and she's happier being with the flock.
  • How a flock of reclusive seabirds became pioneers of pervasive computing.
  • But recently a flock of knowledge-intensive industries has settled there, bringing renewed prosperity in its wake.
  • Conduct surveillance on a town invaded by a huge flock of crows.
  • Stylish teenagers flock to the gleaming mega-mall, watched by shirtless beggars crouched in gutters.
British Dictionary definitions for flock

floccule

/ˈflɒkjuːl/
noun
1.
a small aggregate of flocculent material
2.
something resembling a tuft of wool
Word Origin
C19: from Late Latin flocculus a little tuft; see flock²

flock1

/flɒk/
noun (sometimes functioning as pl)
1.
a group of animals of one kind, esp sheep or birds
2.
a large number of people; crowd
3.
a body of Christians regarded as the pastoral charge of a priest, a bishop, the pope, etc
4.
(rare) a band of people; group
verb (intransitive)
5.
to gather together or move in a flock
6.
to go in large numbers: people flocked to the church
Word Origin
Old English flocc; related to Old Norse flokkr crowd, Middle Low German vlocke

flock2

/flɒk/
noun
1.
a tuft, as of wool, hair, cotton, etc
2.
  1. waste from fabrics such as cotton, wool, or other cloth used for stuffing mattresses, upholstered chairs, etc
  2. (as modifier): flock mattress
3.
very small tufts of wool applied to fabrics, wallpaper, etc, to give a raised pattern
4.
another word for floccule
verb
5.
(transitive) to fill, cover, or ornament with flock
Derived Forms
flocky, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French floc, from Latin floccus; probably related to Old High German floccho down, Norwegian flugsa snowflake
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 flock
n.

Old English flocc "a group of persons, company, troop," related to Old Norse flokkr "crowd, troop, band," Middle Low German vlocke "crowd, flock (of sheep);" not found in other Germanic languages; perhaps related to folc "people," but the metathesis would have been unusual for Old English.

Extended c.1200 to "a number of animals of one kind moving or feeding together;" of domestic animals c.1300. Transferred to bodies of Christians, in relation to Christ or their local pastor, from mid-14c.

"tuft of wool," mid-13c., probably from Old French floc, from Latin floccus "flock of wool, lock of hair."

v.

"gather, congregate," c.1300, from flock (n.). Related: Flocked; flocking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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