1. A sweet baked food made of flour, liquid, eggs, and other ingredients, such as raising agents and flavorings.
2. A flat rounded mass of dough or batter, such as a pancake, that is baked or fried.
3. A flat rounded mass of hashed or chopped food that is baked or fried; a patty.
4. A shaped or molded piece, as of soap or ice.
5. A layer or deposit of compacted matter: a cake of grime in the oven.
v. caked, cak·ing, cakes
To cover or fill with a thick layer, as of compacted matter: a miner whose face was caked with soot.
To become formed into a compact or crusty mass: As temperatures dropped, the wet snow caked.
[Middle English, from Old Norse kaka.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.