Main definitions of flock in English

: flock1flock2

flock1

noun

  • 1A number of birds of one kind feeding, resting, or travelling together.

    ‘a flock of gulls’
    • ‘A flock of birds took flight, startled by his voice.’
    • ‘Thin clouds floated in the sky, and I could see a flock of birds passing by the clouds on a formation.’
    • ‘After that they may join a flock of other juvenile birds.’
    • ‘Further out to sea, a flock of gannets rested on the surface, digesting their meal.’
    • ‘When we say the gravel crackles under our feet, the sun has turned purple through the clouds, or a flock of birds is swooping overhead, all of it must be literally true.’
    • ‘In late summer we checked for retained offspring among the first-year birds in flocks using behavior and DNA fingerprinting.’
    • ‘A flock of birds surges impetuously from the thickets and takes flight towards the windmills that decorate the landscape.’
    • ‘A flock of four birds is the most common size in Parus during winter.’
    • ‘After the trials, we put colored bands back on males and returned the birds to their flocks to maintain a standardized social setting for all other males prior to their trials.’
    • ‘Possible Landscape begins with piercing tones that ring together like a flock of synthetic birds, each tuned to a single, unwavering note.’
    • ‘For most of us, a more familiar example is a flock of birds, all moving together as if under the direction of a leader or some central command.’
    • ‘Like a flock of migrating birds, however, the mass changes formation.’
    • ‘They shot through the clouds and scared a flock of native birds.’
    • ‘Anseriform birds often flock together outside the breeding season and may form groups ranging in size from a few individuals to many thousands.’
    • ‘Birds in flocks so dense that they resembled smoke clouds: thousands of tree swallows, wave after wave of American robins.’
    • ‘Early reports from the crew indicated they may have struck a flock of birds in flight.’
    • ‘A flock of birds off in the distance scattered away.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, these birds fed in large flocks on fruit and other crops, and were shot in huge numbers by farmers.’
    • ‘Members of bird flocks and fish shoals check for predators less often and spend less time hiding in shelters than do solitary individuals.’
    • ‘Adan clutched onto me and screamed, disturbing the flocks of birds resting in trees nearby.’
    group, flight, congregation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A number of domestic animals, especially sheep, goats, or geese, that are kept together.
      ‘a flock of sheep’
      • ‘There are lots of llama shows around the United States; they can be used as guardians to protect flocks of sheep, goats and other animals.’
      • ‘In normal times, the Moores work the farm in two separate units, producing winter oats and winter wheat as well as fattening 600 head of cattle and a flock of store sheep.’
      • ‘Huge flocks of sheep and goats in the northwest are stripping the land of its protective vegetation, creating a dust bowl on a scale not seen before.’
      • ‘Most of it is grazed by flocks of sheep, goats, camels and cattle, often causing severe damage to vegetation.’
      • ‘The group halted their horses at the gate as a flock of sheep went ambling past.’
      • ‘Their herds of cattle and flocks of sheep from New South Wales were eagerly bought by the early South Australian settlers.’
      • ‘Tall baked-mud walls enclose its fields and gardens, the trees twitch with little birds and shy women and girls tend flocks of sheep and goats.’
      • ‘They have a smallholding in Devon which is home to a host of animals, including a flock of pedigree Black Welsh Mountain sheep.’
      • ‘At midmorning we saw a flock of spotted goats being herded across the road, and saw down the meadow the man who drove them.’
      • ‘The area around Hawes and Leyburn became a temporary home to teams of men dedicated to culling whole cattle herds and sheep flocks.’
      • ‘A local woman saw the animal, which she described as about five times the size of a domestic cat, among a flock of sheep.’
      • ‘Just about all the staff are very conservative, good church-going types - and I stick out like a purple goat in a flock of white-washed sheep.’
      • ‘There were a few camels and traditional black Bedouin tents here and there with large flocks of sheep and goats nearby.’
      • ‘So I can only empathise with farmers who have lost entire herds of cattle or flocks of sheep.’
      • ‘They also run a flock of early lambing sheep and a small suckler cow herd.’
      • ‘When they beached the ships, they saw flocks of sheep and goats and they killed them for feasting.’
      • ‘There are the tents of nomads and flocks of sheep and goats with children and women in attendance.’
      • ‘Yohanna climbed the path over the mountain, and there at the crest in the middle of a flock of sheep and goats, stood Yusef and David, tending three donkeys laden with packs.’
      • ‘The farm has a flock of 85 sheep but there are plans to build up the numbers by keeping some of the ewe lambs for breeding stock this year.’
      • ‘If you are lucky enough to have a grassy paddock, it's worth the effort to get a couple of horses or a flock of sheep standing in just the right place.’
      herd, drove, fold
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A large number or crowd of people.
      ‘a flock of paparazzi tailed them all over London’
      • ‘I noticed a crowd was gathering, a flock of women in huddles whispering to each other on the outskirts of the crowd.’
      • ‘Thereafter people came in flocks to carve caves to express their belief in the Buddhas.’
      • ‘For she gathered around her a flock of virgins, a fruit-bearing orchard, a garden in bloom.’
      • ‘The gate to the king's manor didn't stop swinging for a moment; they came in flocks and droves, from east and west, both riding and walking.’
      • ‘One year as she'd stepped off the plane to Cyprus, a whole flock of people had gathered around her.’
      • ‘She looked out and saw a flock of men crowded around the stage.’
      • ‘Still, the flock of visitors, not just the Kuta crowd with its uniform of tie-dyes and beads, keeps coming back.’
      crowd, throng, horde, mob, rabble, large number, mass, multitude, host, army, pack, swarm, sea, stream, troupe, press, crush, flood, collection, company, gathering, assembly, assemblage
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A group of children or pupils in someone's charge.
      • ‘But Mr Mitchell believes his flock are taking a light-hearted approach to the West Yorkshire clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.’
    4. 1.4 A Christian congregation or body of believers, especially one under the charge of a particular minister.
      ‘Thomas addressed his flock’
      • ‘I could surrender everything to the Lord - my dear wife and children, my congregation as a dear flock, the seminary and its staff.’
      • ‘A Newbold church is packing its pews with a new flock of Asian Christians thanks to the multi-lingual skills of the curate.’
      • ‘In his first major address to his Christian flock, Pope Adrian launched a scathing attack on the Christian Church, which was rocked by scandals of all sorts.’
      • ‘If Sri Sri is in residence, he addresses his flock; when he's not in town, the congregation listens to tapes of him speaking.’
      • ‘And he has urged his flock to contemplate their Christian response and ‘reflect with the eyes of faith on the big issues of the day.’’
      • ‘There is a review of the failures of Judah's leadership and the promise that God himself will take charge of the flock through the appointment of one to rule like David.’
      • ‘This attribution is based on the similarities between the depiction of Christ and his flock and other designs that have been documented to Wilson.’
      • ‘There were many times when I envied the moral clarity of those priests as they tended their flocks of young believers, incessantly preaching the demands of sexual purity.’
      • ‘Their rabbi, a 34-year-old karate black belt, proudly estimates that nine out of ten of his flock don't believe in God.’
      • ‘What is the shape of ministry when the wolf is near your flock?’
      • ‘Fear of litigation, an admittedly necessary concern, trumped a bishop's duty to his priests and to his flock.’
      • ‘He was made a bishop in 1677 and sent to Germany to minister to a small flock of Catholics.’
      • ‘This army of shepherds was to guide and lead the flock of believers.’
      • ‘The tiny Christian flock has become ‘a great multitude that no one could number.’’
      • ‘But that's not going to happen - even in this enlightened age, when groovy archbishops invite their flocks to regard the Resurrection through sceptical eyes.’
      • ‘‘We must become mature in this adult faith, we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith,’ he said.’
      • ‘He should stick to ministering his own flock and keep his opinions to his pulpit and not to the public.’
      • ‘In response, Muslim religious leaders began exhorting their flocks against violence.’
      • ‘And bishops must now persuade their flocks, since they can no longer command adherence to church teachings.’
      • ‘An elder represents Christ as a Shepherd, teaching and caring for God's church, the flock God has put under his care.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1(of birds) congregate in a flock.

    ‘sandgrouse are liable to flock with other species’
    • ‘Several species of birds flock to gather the fruit.’
    • ‘As the sun goes down, the birds flock together noisily then settle in for the night.’
    • ‘The pomegranates are ripe now and the local ring-necked parrots are flocking to the tree.’
    • ‘Think about what you would like to look at out here: tulips, wisteria, song birds flocking to a birdbath?’
    • ‘An early and simple model was designed to explain how birds flock.’
    • ‘The tour also takes you to the Usteri Lake, where birds of all kinds flock.’
    • ‘Birds flock, literally and figuratively, to these 40 acres of old forest and gentle pasture overlooking the mighty Hudson River.’
    • ‘Elegant flamingos and other birds flock to Chilika in the winter.’
    • ‘So the boys flock to her like birds flock to the French fries my grandfather throws at them on the beach.’
    • ‘The theory is that, if enough birds flock, the B - 52s will be unable to fly because of the risk of strikes to their engines.’
    • ‘It's no wonder that these birds flock to the banks of the canal that runs through the refuge.’
    • ‘At certain times of the day, small birds flock to these branches, chattering and fluttering, as if this were a festive occasion.’
    • ‘The group spends much of the winter preparing the land for the summer when birds will flock to the reserve to breed.’
    • ‘Birds flocked on the skies and flew around the Schelewig mansion in the new Lake Town.’
    • ‘They said that the increased numbers of birds which flocked around the pigs increased the risk of them flying into the engines of aircraft.’
    • ‘He was the bird and the other birds flocking to the tree were the souls he would save by establishing a Church here.’
    • ‘On the day, the thirsty birds would flock to the lake in greater numbers.’
    • ‘A cloud of birds flocks into the air, signifying the approach of someone or something.’
    • ‘Golden-crowned Kinglets are fairly easy to see during the winter when they flock with other small birds and can occur in large numbers.’
    • ‘At the moment the birds are beginning to flock, so it is a lucrative time to do it.’
    1. 1.1with adverbial Move or go together in a crowd.
      ‘tourists flock to Oxford in their thousands’
      • ‘On Easter Sunday, many flock to church sporting their Sunday best, celebrating Christ's resurrection.’
      • ‘Visitors flock there to see the lights gently altering on the facades of the 500-year-old buildings.’
      • ‘But the dance crowd also flocks to more obscure events.’
      • ‘However it will be some time before crowds flock back to the matches.’
      • ‘Britons are certainly flocking to buy up corners of the world in increasing numbers.’
      • ‘After many years in the doldrums, cinema groups are reporting a massive increase in takings, as crowds flock back to the big screen.’
      • ‘As glorious Tramore yet again defied the dismal weather forecasts the fans flocked to the seaside venue.’
      • ‘They flocked around him, all wanting to get a better view, all the time.’
      • ‘More than 200,000 racegoers flocked to the city.’
      • ‘They flocked around, cheering and enthusing over his courage and wisdom.’
      • ‘Soccer fans flock in their numbers to these confrontations and expect nothing less than yet another soccer spectacle.’
      • ‘Employers will flock to hipper cities to attract this young labor force.’
      • ‘Sales fever gripped Salisbury as thousands of shoppers flocked to the city this week, to snap up post-Christmas bargains.’
      • ‘They found a shop was selling them for £10 and teenagers were flocking to buy them.’
      • ‘In fact, crowds from all over the world flock here to enjoy its solitude.’
      • ‘Anytime they filmed in a public place, fans were sure to flock around them.’
      • ‘People flocked together, trying to stick their noses into the merchants' carts.’
      • ‘Instead, the jobless are flocking in ever-greater numbers across the border.’
      • ‘But the way I see it, too many people are flocking here for benefits.’
      • ‘Low paid workers, especially in schools, have flocked to join unions.’
      gather, collect, congregate, assemble, come together, get together, converge, convene, rally, rendezvous, muster, meet, mass, amass, crowd, throng, cluster, herd, group, bunch, swarm, huddle, mill
      stream, go in large numbers, swarm, surge, seethe, spill, crowd, herd, troop
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English flocc, of unknown origin. The original sense was ‘a band or body of people’: this became obsolete, but has been reintroduced as a transferred use of the sense ‘a number of animals kept together’.

Pronunciation

flock

/flɒk/

Main definitions of flock in English

: flock1flock2

flock2

noun

  • 1mass noun, often as modifier A soft material for stuffing cushions, quilts, and other soft furnishings, made of wool refuse or torn-up cloth.

    ‘flock mattresses’
    • ‘All excess flock fibers are automatically collected and recycled back to the dispensing hopper.’
    • ‘In considering the diagnosis of flock worker's lung, the symptom profile is crucial in raising clinical suspicion.’
    • ‘Guillotine-cut flock may be dyed before it is bath-finished, dried, screened, and bagged.’
    • ‘However, it is clear that asbestos flock falls within that definition.’
    • ‘Those results are consistent with Schillaci's findings and support our flock composition results.’
    • ‘And that night with the keys hard beneath my thin flock pillow, I heard the voices clearly for the first time.’
    1. 1.1 Powdered wool or cloth, used in making flock wallpaper.
      • ‘The hall was decorated in green flock paper, and was furnished with a modern two layer bronze and teak tripod table.’
      • ‘But the very existence of Michelin-starred Indian restaurants may signal the death knell of flock wall-paper, lager and an onion bhaji.’
    2. 1.2count noun A lock or tuft of wool or cotton.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French floc, from Latin floccus (see floccus).

Pronunciation

flock

/flɒk/