(third-person singular simple present flakes, present participle flaking, simple past and past participle flaked)
- To break or chip off in a flake.
- The paint flaked off after only a year.
- (colloquial) To prove unreliable or impractical; to abandon or desert, to fail to follow through.
- He said he'd come and help, but he flaked.
- (technical) To store an item such as rope in layers
- The line is flaked into the container for easy attachment and deployment.
- (Ireland, slang) to hit (another person).
From Middle English flake (“a flake of snow”), from Old English *flacca, from Old Norse flak (“loose or torn piece”), from Proto-Germanic *flaką (“something flat”), from Proto-Indo-European *pele- (“flat, broad, plain”). Cognate with Norwegian flak (“slice, sliver”, literally “piece torn off”), Swedish flak (“a thin slice”), Danish flage (“flake”), German Flocke (“flake”), Dutch vlak (“smooth surface, plain”) and vlok (“flake”), Latin plaga (“flat surface, district, region”).
A name given to dogfish to improve its marketability as a food, perhaps from etymology 1.
Compare Icelandic flaki?, fleki?, Danish flage, Dutch vlaak.