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’
    • ‘This is due to its construction: Recycled plastics are shredded into flakes and heat-pressed into the mold of said desired shape.’
    • ‘Surprisingly light in texture, and the flakes come away in one piece.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The odder thing was that flakes of his skin seemed to be peeling off of his body.’
    • ‘We weren't going to argue, as the big white flakes of fish proved mouthwatering.’
    • ‘It's available in a flat flake, a powder with an applicator or in pencil form.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In this method, clear sticky tape was pressed firmly into sample areas and rapidly pulled away, removing thin flakes of biotite with the tapes.’
    • ‘Kyle noted a flat tire caused by the flakes of shield, and looked over at the supply trailer.’
    • ‘A few flakes of fuschia bark dangle from a spider's web.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The white paintwork was peeling off in huge flakes and one of the windows had a long, diagonal crack running across it.’
    • ‘Large, juicy flakes of fish are what appeal here.’
    • ‘The paint coating the frame was peeling and a small flake was ripped off by a breeze and was carried away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    sliver, wafer, shaving, paring, peeling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A 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.’
      • ‘And the snow flurries quickly became a constant storm of thick flakes that started to settle deeply on the ground.’
      • ‘A gust of wind blew the falling snow in a violent manner and then slowed, as the flakes grew bigger, thicker, and fatter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It began Tuesday night, big fluffy, surprisingly un-wet flakes.’
      • ‘Snow squalls whiten the dulled brick wall across the street, flakes freezing on contact.’
      • ‘I watched the snow fall heavier, the flakes becoming thicker, and knew I should have been cold, but I couldn't feel a thing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's snowing like mad right now, huge fluffy flakes pelting down.’
      • ‘It's not like real big flakes, more like hard rain, but it's really coming down!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's still coming down in big fluffy flakes, and it's marvelous.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Outside, snow fell: fat flakes adhering to the windows and frosting the glass in translucent white.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It didn't settle though (and they were very small flakes, almost grains), but despite the wind, it wasn't that cold.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A soft haze of thick flakes, sluicing through the streetlights, settling on gutters, bicycles and pedestrians.’
      • ‘From the haze fell snowflakes - first a slow, drifting fall of feathery flakes, then a faster fall that lasted longer, then a hailstorm.’
    2. 1.2Archaeology A piece of hard stone chipped off for use as a tool by prehistoric humans.
      as modifier ‘flake tools’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Very few flakes or flake tools were recovered from this small occupation.’
      • ‘The artifacts include hundreds of stone tools and flakes, as well as spear foreshafts made of rhinoceros horn and mammoth tusk.’
      • ‘The flake tools have possible polishing and edge-wear damage evident along one lateral margin.’
    3. 1.3 Thin pieces of crushed, dried food or bait for fish.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Try a small cage feeder with liquidised bread and a small piece of flake or punch on the hook.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Stir in the dried chilli flakes, the length of orange peel and the bay leaves.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I catapulted a big bit of bread flake across the river.’
      • ‘The Roquefort salad came with many pieces of blue cheese, green salad and flakes of walnuts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When trotting with a pin in fast water, I often use bread flake as my hook bait.’
      • ‘I decided to use a nice piece of bread flake as hook bait.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Pinch on a large piece of bread flake (which should completely cover the hook) and cast as close as you dare.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All the locals were legering dry crust or flake for the roach but I was determined to float fish.’
  • 2North American informal A crazy or eccentric person.

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

verb

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

    ‘the paint had been flaking off for years’
    • ‘The door shut softly, brown paint flaking off behind me, fluttering down to the carpet.’
    • ‘The epidermis has four layers of cells that are constantly flaking off and being renewed.’
    • ‘Thick layers of dust look like curtains on the windows of this bus, and the paint is flaking off the rusted seats.’
    • ‘The rusty pink nail polish that I had put on two months ago was flaking off and falling silently on the ground.’
    • ‘This film often contains many small cracks and is flaking off of the face of the wall.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And at the detective's feet, a metal bat rested on the floor, dried blood flaking off its end.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In most cases, they are kept behind rusty black bars in cement blocks where the drab paint is flaking off.’
    • ‘If you looked hard enough you could see the places where the paint was flaking off.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The years-old paint that covered the thin frame was chipped and flaking off, revealing the bare steel underneath.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘All the paint was flaking off and some lead work needed doing.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Examining his arms he found that they were peeling in a very disgusting fashion, large patches of skin flaking off.’
    peel off, peel, chip, scale off, blister, come off, come off in layers
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Lose small fragments from the surface.
      ‘my nails have started to flake at the ends’
      peel off, peel, chip, scale off, blister, come off, come off in layers
      View synonyms
  • 2with object Break or divide (food) into thin pieces.

    ‘flaked haddock’
    ‘flake the fish’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dissolve 6 tablespoons flaked pickling salt in 1 gallon of lukewarm water.’
    • ‘I've switched to flaked coconut and it works just as well.’
    • ‘Leave them for 10 minutes until they have softened, then drain and flake the fish.’
    • ‘Also, the original just uses flaked almonds on the top.’
    • ‘Fred prefers a version where I use only flaked almonds (no orange, ginger, salt or sesame seeds).’
    • ‘Remove the skin from the fish, then carefully flake the flesh with your fingers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Beware of foods such as hash browns, home fries, jam, molasses, soup mixes, canned vegetables, wine and flaked coconut.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Toss it through 400g of pasta and garnish with toasted flaked almonds and Parmesan shavings.’
    • ‘Baking it helped me use up some things I might not otherwise have used for a while, like raw flaked almonds and condensed milk.’
    • ‘Mix and then add the tuna, flaking it up as you go.’
    • ‘Add prepared fish to the mixing bowl, flaking the fish into small pieces (I find it easiest to do this with my fingers).’
    1. 2.1no object (of food, especially when well cooked) come apart in thin pieces.
      • ‘After that time, you can take a peek, and check delicately that the fish flesh flakes easily.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The kind where the crust flakes off in sharp little pieces that stick to the roof of our mouth.’
      • ‘Add salmon, skinside down, and cook, covered, 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily.’
      • ‘Gently turn over and cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.’

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//fleɪk/

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 hurdle): perhaps of Scandinavian origin and related to Old Norse flaki, fleki ‘wicker shield’ and Danish flage ‘hurdle’.

Pronunciation

flake

/flāk//fleɪk/

Main definitions of flake in English

: flake1flake2flake3flake4

flake3

(also fake)

noun

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

Main definitions of flake in English

: flake1flake2flake3flake4

flake4

verb

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

    • ‘But now I have one babe asleep in my arms and the other babe is flaked out on the sofa.’
    • ‘Look at him all flaked out, the poor thing.’
    • ‘Old women in black dresses sit chatting in groups, dogs flake out in the shade.’
    • ‘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 flaked out long before that, and announced my need to go back for a top-up nap.’
    • ‘She flaked out on the back seat, and we were loath to wake her when we arrived.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We were totally going for it and I didn't notice that the rest of the band were flaking out.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘She gave me a quick check over to be sure I wasn't going to flake out on my way home.’
    • ‘All flaked out in the garden, we had fun entertaining J (who's two) who is entertainment himself.’
    • ‘Usually at 9pm I'm flaking out in front of the tv.’
    • ‘So we had an early dinner and I flaked out on the sofa.’
    • ‘Right now she's in bed flaked out.’
    fall asleep, go to sleep, drop off
    View synonyms

verb

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

    ‘a cable had to be flaked out’
    1. 1.1 Lay (a sail) down in folds 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<br>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

/fleɪk//flāk/