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flake 1 (flāk)
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n.
1. A flat thin piece or layer; a chip.
2. Archaeology A stone fragment removed from a core or from another flake by percussion or pressure, serving as a preform or as a tool or blade itself.
3. A small piece; a bit.
4. A small crystalline bit of snow.
5. Slang
a. One who is undependable, as in keeping social engagements.
b. A somewhat eccentric person; an oddball.
6. Slang Cocaine.
v. flaked, flak·ing, flakes
v.tr.
1. To remove a flake or flakes from; chip.
2. To cover, mark, or overlay with or as if with flakes.
3. To lay out (a rope or sail, for example) in loose folds.
v.intr.
1. To come off in flat thin pieces or layers.
2. Slang
a. To renege, as on a social engagement: promised to go to the party but flaked at the last moment.
b. To fall asleep or collapse from fatigue or exhaustion: got home and flaked on the sofa.
Phrasal Verb:
flake out Slang
1. To renege, as on a social engagement: Sorry for flaking out on you last nightI had to work late.
2. To lose interest or nerve: I toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo but flaked out when I saw the needle.
3. To fall asleep or collapse from fatigue or exhaustion: On arriving at the campsite, we dropped our packs and flaked out on the ground.
4. To act in an odd or eccentric manner: Don't embarrass me by flaking out in front of my friends!

[Middle English; see plāk-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

flaker n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
flake 2 (flāk)
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n.
1. A frame or platform for drying fish or produce.
2. A platform lowered over the side of a ship as a scaffold for performing maintenance or repairs.

[Middle English fleke, from Old Norse fleki, hurdle, shield used for defense in battle; see plāk-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

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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