1 of 4

noun (1)

: a small loose mass or bit
flakes of snow
: a thin flattened piece or layer : chip
slang : cocaine


2 of 4


flaked; flaking

transitive verb

: to cover with or as if with flakes
: to form or break into flakes : chip

intransitive verb

: to separate into flakes
also : to peel in flakes
or flake out informal : to fail or neglect to do or participate in something previously scheduled, agreed upon, or assigned
He'd disappear, then text, disappear, and then text again. So it's not particularly surprising that when we finally made plans to meet he flaked without a word.Kerensa Cadenas
My brother isn't the type to flake out without warning.D. Morgan Ballmer
often used with on
Flake on your friends too often and pretty soon your only friends will be Dharma and Greg.Colleen Rush
Let's get him to sign his name to that before he flakes out on you!Rhoda Janzen


3 of 4

noun (2)

: a stage, platform, or tray for drying fish or produce


4 of 4

noun (3)

: a person who is flaky : oddball

Examples of flake in a Sentence

Noun (1) sprinkle the cake with coconut flakes Verb Bake the fish until it flakes easily when tested with a fork. Noun (3) the lady with all those cats is sweet, but kind of a flake
Recent Examples on the Web
Puffed Jasmine rice and toasted rice flakes give this a unique flavor profile, crisp and light. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 2024 Place a slime mold at one end of a maze and a yummy treat, like oat flakes, at the other end. Sigal Samuel, Vox, 4 June 2024
When fish starts to flake but still looks a little shiny in the middle, it’s done to our liking. Rita Nader Heikenfeld, The Enquirer, 2 Mar. 2024 For instance, a wide and fluffy flake swirls more than a streamlined one. Ellyn Lapointe, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for flake 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English; akin to Old English flacor flying (of arrows), Old Norse flakna to flake off, split

Noun (2)

Middle English flake, fleke hurdle; akin to Middle Dutch vlāke, vlaec hurdle, Old Norse flaki

Noun (3)

perhaps from flake out

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1623, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flake was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near flake

Cite this Entry

“Flake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flake. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a small thin flat usually loose piece : chip


2 of 2 verb
flaked; flaking
: to form or separate into flakes

More from Merriam-Webster on flake

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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