Main definitions of flake in English

: flake1flake2flake3flake4

flake1

noun

  • 1A small, flat, thin piece of something, typically one that has broken away or been peeled off from a larger piece.

    ‘paint peeling off the walls in unsightly flakes’
    ‘flakes of pastry’
    • ‘A few flakes of fuschia bark dangle from a spider's web.’
    • ‘The particles in a low earth orbit may be numerous, but mainly they consist of parts that burnt and broke up upon re-entry, and are thus just small particles and flakes.’
    • ‘In gray iron, the graphite is in the form of flakes; these flakes help machining because of the way that they fracture when being machined.’
    • ‘In older homes, paint regularly contains large amounts of lead that can peel off the walls in flakes and chips or fall on floors and windowsills as a toxic dust, especially in poorly maintained housing stock.’
    • ‘Surprisingly light in texture, and the flakes come away in one piece.’
    • ‘This is due to its construction: Recycled plastics are shredded into flakes and heat-pressed into the mold of said desired shape.’
    • ‘There were also large flakes of paint peeling off of the buildings, though it was hard to tell when there was no color to the whole place.’
    • ‘In this method, clear sticky tape was pressed firmly into sample areas and rapidly pulled away, removing thin flakes of biotite with the tapes.’
    • ‘It's available in a flat flake, a powder with an applicator or in pencil form.’
    • ‘Season the fish and cook either under an overhead grill, or over the coals until a flake of fish can be pulled easily from the bone.’
    • ‘The white paintwork was peeling off in huge flakes and one of the windows had a long, diagonal crack running across it.’
    • ‘We weren't going to argue, as the big white flakes of fish proved mouthwatering.’
    • ‘She was tearing fragments off and placing them in her mouth, dusty and moist, her fingers covered in oil from the almond paste, sugar and flakes of croissant pastry.’
    • ‘Kyle noted a flat tire caused by the flakes of shield, and looked over at the supply trailer.’
    • ‘The paint coating the frame was peeling and a small flake was ripped off by a breeze and was carried away.’
    • ‘The odder thing was that flakes of his skin seemed to be peeling off of his body.’
    • ‘I peel a chunk of weathered paint off, and hold the thin papery flake in my palm.’
    • ‘We were staring at the garage door with big flakes of white paint peeling off it, but in our minds we were going through the desert.’
    • ‘Large, juicy flakes of fish are what appeal here.’
    sliver, wafer, shaving, paring, peeling
    chip, shard, scale, crumb, grain, speck, spillikin
    fragment, scrap, shred, bit, particle
    skelf
    spall, lamina
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A snowflake.
      • ‘Outside it was snowing again; fat flakes adhering to the fogged windowpanes like intricate lacework, the clouds looking like lumps of lead against a steel grey background.’
      • ‘It began Tuesday night, big fluffy, surprisingly un-wet flakes.’
      • ‘Snow squalls whiten the dulled brick wall across the street, flakes freezing on contact.’
      • ‘Jennifer looked out over the garden, all covered in a soft blanket of gorgeous white that just grew thicker and thicker with the falling flakes.’
      • ‘Outside, snow fell: fat flakes adhering to the windows and frosting the glass in translucent white.’
      • ‘At first, it was the fluffy kind that melts when you catch it on your tongue, but now it's more like heavy fat flakes.’
      • ‘It took losing sight of Attila, whom I was walking right beside, for me to notice that the flakes were falling hard, thick, and fast.’
      • ‘And the snow flurries quickly became a constant storm of thick flakes that started to settle deeply on the ground.’
      • ‘I watched the snow fall heavier, the flakes becoming thicker, and knew I should have been cold, but I couldn't feel a thing.’
      • ‘It's not like real big flakes, more like hard rain, but it's really coming down!’
      • ‘From the haze fell snowflakes - first a slow, drifting fall of feathery flakes, then a faster fall that lasted longer, then a hailstorm.’
      • ‘It's still coming down in big fluffy flakes, and it's marvelous.’
      • ‘It's snowing like mad right now, huge fluffy flakes pelting down.’
      • ‘Jamie followed suit, and the two of them started laughing when the sky opened up and the thick, fluffy flakes started floating down on them.’
      • ‘It didn't settle though (and they were very small flakes, almost grains), but despite the wind, it wasn't that cold.’
      • ‘As we lounged, slapping grey mud on our faces in a bid to cleanse our pores, if not our livers, it began to snow, the flakes descending into the rising steam as if fighting some ancient primeval battle.’
      • ‘A soft haze of thick flakes, sluicing through the streetlights, settling on gutters, bicycles and pedestrians.’
      • ‘The snow pattered down around me as I looked up at her, landing in my hair and covering the dull drabness of my dress with fluffy flakes.’
      • ‘She ran and ran, through the falling flakes that kissed and licked at her little body, and as she ran she held her face to the sky and opened her mouth wide to catch the brilliant white on this most holy of nights.’
      • ‘A gust of wind blew the falling snow in a violent manner and then slowed, as the flakes grew bigger, thicker, and fatter.’
    2. 1.2Archaeology
      A piece of hard stone chipped off for use as a tool by prehistoric humans.
      [as modifier] ‘flake tools’
      • ‘The artifacts include hundreds of stone tools and flakes, as well as spear foreshafts made of rhinoceros horn and mammoth tusk.’
      • ‘Very few flakes or flake tools were recovered from this small occupation.’
      • ‘The flake tools have possible polishing and edge-wear damage evident along one lateral margin.’
      • ‘Living on the Isle of Wight with a life-long interest in prehistory I have spent many hours field-walking and have a substantial collection of flint tools and flakes.’
      • ‘A large number of flint-working sites, producing long, slender flakes used for making tools and weapons, were found during archaeological survey work in the early 1970s.’
    3. 1.3Thin pieces of crushed dried food or bait for fish.
      • ‘The Roquefort salad came with many pieces of blue cheese, green salad and flakes of walnuts.’
      • ‘Try a small cage feeder with liquidised bread and a small piece of flake or punch on the hook.’
      • ‘Stir in the dried chilli flakes, the length of orange peel and the bay leaves.’
      • ‘I catapulted a big bit of bread flake across the river.’
      • ‘So I tied up a two-hook rig which had a big hook on the surface carrying a big crust, and a smaller hook 4ins below it carrying a piece of flake that simulated a piece that was sinking from the crust.’
      • ‘If you're a cereal over-loader, nutritionists at suggest forfeiting half your flakes for a piece of fruit or whole-wheat toast.’
      • ‘Hooks are normally between size 6 and 10 baited with bread flake or crust.’
      • ‘Several roach over that magical 2lb barrier have been banked recently with anglers prepared to sit it out on bread flake being rewarded with the better fish.’
      • ‘The water certainly was not very deep so I decided to use a small self cocking float with 6 lb line and a piece of bread flake as bait.’
      • ‘Stalking fish with bread flake, worms and big black slugs is both highly enjoyable and productive.’
      • ‘Fish were fed on a mixture of commercial flake and live food once per day.’
      • ‘Pinch on a large piece of bread flake (which should completely cover the hook) and cast as close as you dare.’
      • ‘The baits used are lobworms, cheese paste, meat paste, bread flake and crust.’
      • ‘A large lump of floating bread flake fished in conjunction with a controller float was the successful method.’
      • ‘The humble bread flake is as good as anything more high-tech but cat meat and corn will also score.’
      • ‘Throughout the training and testing period, all fish remaining in the stock tank were fed flake food once daily and bloodworm from a floating feeder twice a week to familiarize them with it.’
      • ‘I decided to use a nice piece of bread flake as hook bait.’
      • ‘All the locals were legering dry crust or flake for the roach but I was determined to float fish.’
      • ‘It's an entire wall of jars full of exotic looking powders and flakes and you can buy an eighth of a teaspoon if that's all you want.’
      • ‘When trotting with a pin in fast water, I often use bread flake as my hook bait.’
  • 2North American informal A crazy or eccentric person.

    • ‘So, do you now blame your loss on these crazies and flakes?’

verb

  • 1[no object] Come or fall away from a surface in thin pieces.

    ‘the paint had been flaking off for years’
    • ‘On the right hand side there was a small dressing table, its white paint flaking off, and a large wardrobe, which seemed to take up most of the room, in which to store her clothes.’
    • ‘The door was metal with no handle, and painted with white paint now flaking off.’
    • ‘The epidermis has four layers of cells that are constantly flaking off and being renewed.’
    • ‘Examining his arms he found that they were peeling in a very disgusting fashion, large patches of skin flaking off.’
    • ‘The door shut softly, brown paint flaking off behind me, fluttering down to the carpet.’
    • ‘In most cases, they are kept behind rusty black bars in cement blocks where the drab paint is flaking off.’
    • ‘This film often contains many small cracks and is flaking off of the face of the wall.’
    • ‘My eyesight was also heightened considerably, with the bright, whitewashed walls that had large pieces of plaster flaking off the surface standing out fiercely at me.’
    • ‘The rusty pink nail polish that I had put on two months ago was flaking off and falling silently on the ground.’
    • ‘The years-old paint that covered the thin frame was chipped and flaking off, revealing the bare steel underneath.’
    • ‘Today, at 108,000 kilometres, there's paint flaking off the leading edge of the hood, the brakes need work and the dashboard makes a buzzing noise at highway speeds when it's cold.’
    • ‘All the paint was flaking off and some lead work needed doing.’
    • ‘The surface of the tree was flaking off in great sheets of bark, showering the two with dust made of both dead tree and stone.’
    • ‘It's only the next morning, in daylight for the first time, that I realise his whole body is red raw sunburnt and flaking off all over.’
    • ‘And at the detective's feet, a metal bat rested on the floor, dried blood flaking off its end.’
    • ‘Thick layers of dust look like curtains on the windows of this bus, and the paint is flaking off the rusted seats.’
    • ‘The white paint on the side was flaking off and the steps leading up inside of it were rusty and they creaked as she was pushed inside.’
    • ‘The sight of paint flaking off a historic work of art, literally crumbling off in lumps is a disgrace and will reflect badly on us in years to come.’
    • ‘If you find one at this price with a decent engine, you can count on the interior looking like a dog's bed and the paint will be oxidized or flaking off in sheets.’
    • ‘If you looked hard enough you could see the places where the paint was flaking off.’
    peel off, peel, chip, scale off, blister, come off, come off in layers
    desquamate, exfoliate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Lose small fragments from the surface.
      ‘my nails have started to flake at the ends’
  • 2[with object] Break or divide (food) into thin pieces.

    ‘flake the fish’
    ‘flaked haddock’
    • ‘Baking it helped me use up some things I might not otherwise have used for a while, like raw flaked almonds and condensed milk.’
    • ‘Fred prefers a version where I use only flaked almonds (no orange, ginger, salt or sesame seeds).’
    • ‘Mix and then add the tuna, flaking it up as you go.’
    • ‘One high street shop, Food Emporium Culina, has closed down, so shoppers will have to go elsewhere for their toasted flaked almonds, pine kernels and pistachio nuts.’
    • ‘Toss it through 400g of pasta and garnish with toasted flaked almonds and Parmesan shavings.’
    • ‘Sprinkle with flaked almonds and decorate with a few chocolate curls.’
    • ‘Roll into balls, roll in flour, roll in beaten egg, roll in flaked almonds.’
    • ‘Dissolve 6 tablespoons flaked pickling salt in 1 gallon of lukewarm water.’
    • ‘One nut biscuit which has developed in a slightly different manner is the florentine, which incorporates flaked almonds, candied peel, and dried fruit, and is coated with chocolate, ‘brushed’ to make wavy lines.’
    • ‘Also, the original just uses flaked almonds on the top.’
    • ‘Add prepared fish to the mixing bowl, flaking the fish into small pieces (I find it easiest to do this with my fingers).’
    • ‘Remove the skin from the fish, then carefully flake the flesh with your fingers.’
    • ‘I've switched to flaked coconut and it works just as well.’
    • ‘Beware of foods such as hash browns, home fries, jam, molasses, soup mixes, canned vegetables, wine and flaked coconut.’
    • ‘Leave them for 10 minutes until they have softened, then drain and flake the fish.’
    1. 2.1[no object](of food, especially when well cooked) come apart in thin pieces.
      • ‘Gently turn over and cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.’
      • ‘Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 450F turning once for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.’
      • ‘Add salmon, skinside down, and cook, covered, 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily.’
      • ‘The kind where the crust flakes off in sharp little pieces that stick to the roof of our mouth.’
      • ‘After that time, you can take a peek, and check delicately that the fish flesh flakes easily.’

Origin

Middle English: the immediate source is unknown, the senses perhaps deriving from different words; probably of Germanic origin and related to flag and flaw.

Pronunciation:

flake

/flāk/

Main definitions of flake in English

: flake1flake2flake3flake4

flake2

noun

  • A rack or shelf for storing or drying food such as fish.

Origin

Middle English (denoting a wicker framework): perhaps of Scandinavian origin and related to Old Norse flaki, fleki wicker shield and Danish flage wicker framework.

Pronunciation:

flake

/flāk/

Main definitions of flake in English

: flake1flake2flake3flake4

flake3

verb

[NO OBJECT]informal
  • Fall asleep; drop from exhaustion.

    • ‘Old women in black dresses sit chatting in groups, dogs flake out in the shade.’
    • ‘So we had an early dinner and I flaked out on the sofa.’
    • ‘Usually at 9pm I'm flaking out in front of the tv.’
    • ‘She gave me a quick check over to be sure I wasn't going to flake out on my way home.’
    • ‘Right now she's in bed flaked out.’
    • ‘She flaked out on the back seat, and we were loath to wake her when we arrived.’
    • ‘All flaked out in the garden, we had fun entertaining J (who's two) who is entertainment himself.’
    • ‘We were totally going for it and I didn't notice that the rest of the band were flaking out.’
    • ‘If I'm going to flake out as soon as I get home, then it's probably worth trying to write during my lunch break.’
    • ‘But now I have one babe asleep in my arms and the other babe is flaked out on the sofa.’
    • ‘The last week or so has been such a whirl; I've either been rushing about doing stuff, else I've been flaked out knackered from the rushing!’
    • ‘‘I would just flake out in front of the television at night, but now I've decided to get fit and lose weight,’ she says.’
    • ‘I flaked out long before that, and announced my need to go back for a top-up nap.’
    • ‘Look at him all flaked out, the poor thing.’
    fall asleep, go to sleep, drop off
    collapse, drop, keel over
    faint, pass out, lose consciousness, black out
    conk out, go out, go out like a light, nod off
    sack out, zone out
    swoon
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 15th century (in the senses become languid and (of a garment) fall in folds): variant of obsolete flack and the verb flag. The current sense dates from the 1940s.

Pronunciation:

flake

/flāk/

Main definitions of flake in English

: flake1flake2flake3flake4

flake4

(also fake)

noun

Nautical
  • A single turn of a coiled rope or hawser.

    fake
    and → fake

verb

[WITH OBJECT]Nautical
  • 1 Lay (a rope) in loose coils in order to prevent it from tangling.

    ‘a cable had to be flaked out’
    1. 1.1Lay (a sail) down in folds on either side of the boom.
      • ‘Going to the mizzen boom he undid the badly fastened ties, raised the sail and lowered it, flaking it neatly as it came down.’

Origin

Early 17th century (as a noun): of unknown origin; compare with German Flechte in the same sense.

Pronunciation:

flake

/flāk/