Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A frame or platform for drying fish or produce.
  • noun A scaffold lowered over the side of a ship to support workers or caulkers.
  • noun A flat thin piece or layer; a chip.
  • noun Archaeology A stone fragment removed from a core or from another flake by percussion or pressure, serving as a preform or as a tool or blade itself.
  • noun A small piece; a bit.
  • noun A small crystalline bit of snow.
  • noun Slang A somewhat eccentric person; an oddball.
  • noun Slang Cocaine.
  • intransitive verb To remove a flake or flakes from; chip.
  • intransitive verb To cover, mark, or overlay with or as if with flakes.
  • intransitive verb To come off in flat thin pieces or layers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small flat or scale-like particle or fragment of anything; a thin fragment; a scale: as, a flake of tallow; a flake of flint; a flake of snow.
  • noun Among florists, any variety of carnation in which the petals are marked with stripes of one color upon a white ground.
  • noun A hurdle or portable framework of wicker, boards, or bars, for fencing; a fence; a paling.
  • noun Nautical, a small stage hung over a ship's side, from which to calk or repair any breach.
  • noun A platform for drying salted fish; a fish-flake.
  • noun A rack for bacon.
  • noun A wooden frame for oat-cakes.
  • noun A sort of flap fastened to a saddle to keep the rider's knee from contact with the horse.
  • To break or separate in flakes or layers; peel or scale off: absolutely or with off.
  • To form or break into flakes: as, the frost flaked off the plaster.
  • To cover with or as with flakes; fleck.
  • noun Same as fake.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A loose filmy mass or a thin chiplike layer of anything; a film; flock; lamina; layer; scale.
  • noun A little particle of lighted or incandescent matter, darted from a fire; a flash.
  • noun (Bot.) A sort of carnation with only two colors in the flower, the petals having large stripes.
  • noun colloq. a person who behaves strangely; a flaky{2} person.
  • noun (Archæol.) a cutting instrument used by savage tribes, made of a flake or chip of hard stone.
  • noun the cooling tub or vessel of a still worm.
  • noun (Paint.) The trisnitrate of bismuth.
  • noun A flat layer, or fake, of a coiled cable.
  • intransitive verb To separate in flakes; to peel or scale off.
  • noun prov. Eng. A paling; a hurdle.
  • noun A platform of hurdles, or small sticks made fast or interwoven, supported by stanchions, for drying codfish and other things.
  • noun (Naut.) A small stage hung over a vessel's side, for workmen to stand on in calking, etc.
  • transitive verb To form into flakes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun UK Dogfish.
  • noun Australia The meat of the gummy shark.
  • noun A loose filmy mass or a thin chiplike layer of anything; a film; flock; lamina; layer; scale; as, a flake of snow, paint, or fish.
  • noun archaeology A prehistoric tool chipped out of stone.
  • noun informal A person who is impractical, flighty, unreliable, or inconsistent; especially with maintaining a living.
  • verb To break or chip off in a flake.
  • verb colloquial To prove unreliable or impractical; to abandon or desert, to fail to follow through.
  • verb technical To store an item such as rope in layers
  • verb Ireland, slang to hit (another person).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb cover with flakes or as if with flakes
  • verb come off in flakes or thin small pieces

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fleke, from Old Norse fleki, hurdle, shield used for defense in battle; see plāk- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English; see plāk- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A name given to dogfish to improve its marketability as a food, perhaps from etymology 1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English flake ("a flake of snow"), from Old English *flacca, from Old Norse flak ("loose or torn piece"), from Proto-Germanic *flakan (“something flat”), from Proto-Indo-European *pele- (“flat, broad, plain”). Cognate with Norwegian flak ("slice, sliver", literally "piece torn off"), Swedish flak ("a thin slice"), Danish flage ("flake"), German Flocke ("flake"), Dutch vlak ("smooth surface, plain") and vlok ("flake"), Latin plaga ("flat surface, district, region").

Examples

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  • In Newfoundland, a platform built on poles and spread with boughs for drying codfish on land.

    December 10, 2007