flan (flăn, flän)
1. A custard that is baked in a caramel-lined mold and served chilled with the caramel side up. Also called crème caramel.
2. A tart with a filling of custard, fruit, or cheese.
3. A metal disk to be stamped as a coin; a blank.
[French, from Old French flaon, from Late Latin fladō, fladōn-, flat cake, of Germanic origin; see plat- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 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.