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cake

[keyk] /keɪk/
noun
1.
a sweet, baked, breadlike food, made with or without shortening, and usually containing flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, eggs, and liquid flavoring.
2.
a flat, thin mass of bread, especially unleavened bread.
4.
a shaped or molded mass of other food:
a fish cake.
5.
a shaped or compressed mass:
a cake of soap; a cake of ice.
6.
Animal Husbandry. a compacted block of soybeans, cottonseeds, or linseeds from which the oil has been pressed, usually used as a feed or feed supplement for cattle.
verb (used with object), caked, caking.
7.
to form into a crust or compact mass.
verb (used without object), caked, caking.
8.
to become formed into a crust or compact mass.
Idioms
9.
a piece of cake, Informal. something easily done:
She thought her first solo flight was a piece of cake.
10.
take the cake, Informal.
  1. to surpass all others, especially in some undesirable quality; be extraordinary or unusual:
    His arrogance takes the cake.
  2. to win first prize.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English < Old Norse kaka; akin to Middle English kechel little cake, German Kuchen; see cookie
Related forms
caky, cakey, adjective
noncaking, adjective, noun
uncake, verb (used with object), uncaked, uncaking.
Synonyms
8. harden, solidify, dry, congeal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for take the cake

cake

/keɪk/
noun
1.
a baked food, usually in loaf or layer form, typically made from a mixture of flour, sugar, and eggs
2.
a flat thin mass of bread, esp unleavened bread
3.
a shaped mass of dough or other food of similar consistency: a fish cake
4.
a mass, slab, or crust of a solidified or compressed substance, as of soap or ice
5.
have one's cake and eat it, to enjoy both of two desirable but incompatible alternatives
6.
(informal) go like hot cakes, sell like hot cakes, to be sold very quickly or in large quantities
7.
(informal) piece of cake, something that is easily achieved or obtained
8.
(informal) take the cake, to surpass all others, esp in stupidity, folly, etc
9.
(informal) the whole or total of something that is to be shared or divided: the miners are demanding a larger slice of the cake, that is a fair method of sharing the cake
verb
10.
(transitive) to cover with a hard layer; encrust: the hull was caked with salt
11.
to form or be formed into a hardened mass
Derived Forms
cakey, caky, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse kaka; related to Danish kage, German Kuchen
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 take the cake

cake

n.

early 13c., from Old Norse kaka "cake," from West Germanic *kokon- (cf. Middle Dutch koke, Dutch koek, Old High German huohho, German Kuchen). Not now believed to be related to Latin coquere "to cook," as formerly supposed. Replaced its Old English cognate, coecel.

What man, I trow ye raue, Wolde ye bothe eate your cake and haue your cake? ["The Proverbs & Epigrams of John Heywood," 1562]
Originally (until early 15c.) "a flat, round loaf of bread." Piece of cake "something easy" is from 1936. The let them eat cake story is found in Rousseau's "Confessions," in reference to an incident c.1740, long before Marie Antoinette, though it has been associated with her since c.1870; it apparently was a chestnut in the French royal family that had been told of other princesses and queens before her.

v.

c.1600, from cake (n.). Related: Caked; caking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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take the cake in Culture

take the cake definition


To be the most outstanding; sometimes used in a derogatory sense: “When it comes to eating like a pig, Gordy really takes the cake.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for take the cake

take the cake

verb phrase

To win or deserve the highest award and admiration: His new sonnets quite take the cake

[1847+; fr the prize awarded in a cakewalk dancing contest]


cake

noun
  1. The female genitals (1940s+ Black)
  2. A sexually attractive woman; fox (1940s+ Black)
  3. (also cake-eater) A ladies' man; dude: his brown hat, fixed square-shaped the way the cakes were wearing them (1920s+)
  4. piece of cake (1910+)
Related Terms

babycakes, coffee and cakes, cut cake, fruitcake, ice the cake, nutball, piece of cake, take the cake


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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take the cake in the Bible

Cakes made of wheat or barley were offered in the temple. They were salted, but unleavened (Ex. 29:2; Lev. 2:4). In idolatrous worship thin cakes or wafers were offered "to the queen of heaven" (Jer. 7:18; 44:19). Pancakes are described in 2 Sam. 13:8, 9. Cakes mingled with oil and baked in the oven are mentioned in Lev. 2:4, and "wafers unleavened anointed with oil," in Ex. 29:2; Lev. 8:26; 1 Chr. 23:29. "Cracknels," a kind of crisp cakes, were among the things Jeroboam directed his wife to take with her when she went to consult Ahijah the prophet at Shiloh (1 Kings 14:3). Such hard cakes were carried by the Gibeonites when they came to Joshua (9:5, 12). They described their bread as "mouldy;" but the Hebrew word _nikuddim_, here used, ought rather to be rendered "hard as biscuit." It is rendered "cracknels" in 1 Kings 14:3. The ordinary bread, when kept for a few days, became dry and excessively hard. The Gibeonites pointed to this hardness of their bread as an evidence that they had come a long journey. We read also of honey-cakes (Ex. 16:31), "cakes of figs" (1 Sam. 25:18), "cake" as denoting a whole piece of bread (1 Kings 17:12), and "a [round] cake of barley bread" (Judg. 7:13). In Lev. 2 is a list of the different kinds of bread and cakes which were fit for offerings.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with take the cake

take the cake

Be the most outstanding in some respect, either the best or the worst. For example, That advertising slogan really took the cake, or What a mess they made of the concert—that takes the cake! This expression alludes to a contest called a cakewalk, in which a cake is the prize. Its figurative use, for something either excellent or outrageously bad, dates from the 1880s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for take the cake

cake

in general, any of a variety of breads, shortened or unshortened, usually shaped by the tin in which it is baked; more specifically, a sweetened bread, often rich or delicate.

Learn more about cake with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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