1 [fleyk]
a small, flat, thin piece, especially one that has been or become detached from a larger piece or mass: flakes of old paint.
any small piece or mass: a flake of snow.
a stratum or layer.
Slang. an eccentric person; screwball.
Slang. cocaine.
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.
to peel off or separate in flakes.
to fall in flakes, as snow.
verb (used with object), flaked, flaking.
to remove in flakes.
to break flakes or chips from; break into flakes: to flake fish for a casserole.
to cover with or as if with flakes.
to form into flakes.

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
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flake1 (fleɪk)
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
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]

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

flake3 (fleɪk)
nautical another word for fake

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

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
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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
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