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fluke 1 (flk)
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n.
1. Any of numerous parasitic flatworms, including the trematodes, some of which infect humans, and the monogeneans, which are chiefly ectoparasites of fish.
2. Any of various flatfishes chiefly of the genus Paralichthys, especially the summer flounder.

[Middle English, flounder, flatfish, from Old English flōc; see plāk-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Sense 1, from the flounderlike shape of sheep flukes .]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
fluke 2 (flk)
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n.
1. Nautical The triangular blade at the end of an arm of an anchor, designed to catch in the ground.
2. A barb or barbed head, as on an arrow or a harpoon.
3. Either of the two horizontally flattened divisions of the tail of a whale.

[Possibly from FLUKE1.]
(click for a larger image)
fluke2
top: arrowhead and whale flukes
bottom: anchor flukes

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
fluke 3 (flk)
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n.
1. A chance occurrence: That spring snowstorm was a total fluke.
2. Games An accidentally good or successful stroke in billiards or pool.

[Origin unknown.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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