The Alternative English Dictionary

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Colourful extracts from Wiktionary. Slang, vulgarities, profanities, slurs, interjections, colloquialisms and more.


fisho etymology From fish + o.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, slang) A fisherman.
    • 2000, Paul Worsteling, Fishing Western Port, [http//|%22fishos%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5YtQT66lIa_mmAWJjrG2Cg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22fisho%22|%22fishos%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 36], This channel is often used as a short cut by fishos who launch at Stony Point and fish the Corinella region.
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
    • 2007, Rod Harrison, Forward, Steve Cooper, Fishing Techniques: Salt and Fresh Water, [http//|%22fishos%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=G49QT9tp5NKYBbO80YMK&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22fisho%22|%22fishos%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 7], Fishing Techniques is a landmark contribution to the fisho think tank. Read and enjoy — somewhere, someway it will make your time on the water more enjoyable and more productive.
  2. (Australia, slang) A fishmonger.
fishsicle etymology fish + sicle
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, humorous) A cold or frozen fish.
    • 1994, Aquarium Fish Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 3, page 8: This would certainly be a perfect time to replace it [your aquarium's heater] — if something goes wrong you'll either have fishsicles or bouillabaisse.
    • 2008, Alvin Silverstein, Virginia B. Silverstein, & Laura Silverstein Nunn, Adaptation, Twenty-First Century Books (2008), ISBN 9780822534341, page 51: Fish can swim in the icy waters without turning into fishsicles because many of them make chemicals that keep their blood from freezing.
    • 2015, Memory and Magic, Disney Press (2015), ISBN 9781484728727, unnumbered page: … The ice boat had carried them home with their baskets of fish. Elsa froze the fish and snuck them into the kitchens. "Fishsicles!" five-year-old Anna shouted in delight.
fishwife etymology wife in the now-obsolete meaning woman (see also midwife).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A woman who sells or works with fish. (This is another name for a female fishmonger.)
  2. (pejorative) A vulgar, abusive or nag woman with a loud, unpleasant voice.
  3. (Geordie, pejorative) Term of abuse, usually directed at women, implying lack of personal hygiene.
fishy pronunciation
  • /ˈfɪʃi/
  • {{audio}} {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (childish) diminutive of fish
Alternative forms: fishie
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of, from, or similar to fish. exampleWhat is that fishy odor?
  2. Suspicious; inspiring doubt.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 3 , “Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.”
    exampleI don't trust him; his claims seem fishy to me.
fist {{Webster 1913}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /fɪst/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English fisten, fiesten, from Old English *fistan "to break wind gently"; supported by Old English fisting, from Proto-Germanic *fistaz, from Proto-Germanic *fīsaną, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peys-. Cognate with Dutch veest, Low German fisten, German Fist, Fisten, Swedish fisa, Latin spīrō, Albanian fryj.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To break wind.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The act of breaking wind; fise.
  2. A puffball.
etymology 2 From Middle English fist, from Old English fȳst, from Proto-Germanic *funstiz (compare West Frisian fûst, Dutch vuist, German Faust), from Proto-Indo-European *pn̥kʷ-sti 'fist' (compare Lithuanian kumste, Old Church Slavonic pęstĭ), from *pénkʷe 'five'. More at five.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. hand with the finger clench or curl inward The boxer's fists rained down on his opponent in the last round.
  2. (printing) the pointing hand symbol
  3. (ham radio) the characteristic signaling rhythm of an individual telegraph or CW operator when sending Morse code
  4. (slang) a person's characteristic handwriting
  5. A group of men.
  6. The talon of a bird of prey.
    • Spenser More light than culver in the falcon's fist.
  7. (informal) An attempt at something.
    • 2005, Darryl N. Davis, Visions of Mind: Architectures for Cognition and Affect (page 144) With the rise of cognitive neuroscience, the time may be coming when we can make a reasonable fist of mapping down from an understanding of the functional architecture of the mind to the structural architecture of the brain.
Synonyms: bunch of fives, fist-size, ductus
related terms:
  • fisticuff
  • tight-fisted
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To strike with the fist. ...may not score a point with his open hand(s), but may score a point by fisting the ball. Damian Cullen. "Running the rule." The Irish Times 18 Aug 2003, pg. 52.
  2. To close (the hand) into a fist.
    • 1969, Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or Ardor, Penguin 2011, p. 29: He noticed Ada's trick of hiding her fingernails by fisting her hand or stretching it with the palm turned upward when helping herself to a biscuit.
  3. To grip with a fist.
    • 1851, , , I am an officer; but, how I wish I could fist a bit of old-fashioned beef in the fore-castle, as I used to when I was before the mast.
  4. (slang) To fist-fuck.
  • fits
  • sift
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) sexual practice in which a (fist) hand is inserted and moved in, around, or out vagina or rectum in a vigorous manner.
  • FF
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (vulgar) to insert and remove and move a (fist) hand in someone's vagina or rectum vigorously
fisticuff etymology fist + cuff. Modern uses as a verb are a back-formation on the plural uses of the noun.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rare) A fistfight.
    • 1852, Eli Bowen et al., The Pictorial Sketch-book of Pennsylvania, Every fifteen or twenty minutes there was a rush to some part, to witness a fisticuff.
  2. (obsolete) A cuff or blow administered with the fist.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (chiefly, humorous) To engage in a physical fight.
  2. (obsolete) To strike, fight or spar with the fist.
    • 1846, Making of America Project, The American Whig Review, Do they fisticuff with thunder-snaggs …
fisticuffs pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈfɪs.tɪ.kʌfs/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of fisticuff
  2. (plurale tantum, informal) An impromptu fight with the fists, usually between only two people.
    • 1881, , Virginibus Puerisque, and Other Papers, "," People who share a cell in the Basti[l]le … if they do not immediately fall to fisticuffs, will find some possible ground of compromise.
    • 1890, translated by Caroline Tilton, Holland and Its People, …, his head all scarred with the sticks and fisticuffs which he had got in the taverns at Utrecht, …
  3. (plurale tantum, sports, dated) Bare-knuckle boxing, a form of boxing done without boxing glove or similar padding.
    • 1870, , , In his college days of athletic exercises, Mr. Crisparkle had known professors of the Noble Art of fisticuffs, …
Synonyms: (informal: fight) brawl, fight, fist-fight, punch-up, (bare-knuckled boxing) prizefighting
related terms:
  • fist
  • fisticuff
  • fisticuffer
fisting pronunciation
  • /ˈfɪstɪŋ/
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of fist
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) The sexual practice of inserting one or both hands into the vagina or rectum of one's sexual partner.
    • 2003 August 17, Sean O'Hagan, “Sex on the brain”, review in The Observer, page 5, … and comes to a climax of sorts (sorry) with – and here the more sheltered among you should avert your eyes – a girl-on-girl fisting scene.
Synonyms: (sexual practice) fist-fucking (taboo slang), FF
coordinate terms:
  • fingering
  • footfuck
  • sifting
fit pronunciation
  • /fɪt/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Possibly from the Middle English fit.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Suitable, proper. You have nothing to say about it. I'll do exactly as I see fit.
    • Bible, Job xxxiv. 18 Is it fit to say a king, Thou art wicked?
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist, Lesley Brown, 243d , “The rest we'll leave to be examined later, if we think fit;”
  2. Adapted to a purpose or environment. survival of the fittest
    • Shakespeare That which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in.
  3. In good shape; physically well. You don't have to be a good climber for Kilimanjaro, but you do have to be fit.
  4. (British, slang) Good looking, fanciable, attractive, beautiful. I think the girl working in the office is fit.
  5. Prepared; ready.
    • Fairfax So fit to shoot, she singled forth among her foes who first her quarry's strength should feel.
etymology 2 From the adjective fit.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To be suitable for. It fits the purpose.
    • 1918, Richard Dennis Teall Hollister, Speech-making, publ. George Wahr, pg. 81: The speaker should be certain that his subject fits the occasion.
  2. (transitive) To conform to in size and shape. The small shirt doesn't fit me, so I'll buy the medium size. If I lose a few kilos, the gorgeous wedding dress might fit me.
  3. (intransitive) To be of the right size and shape, as of clothing. I wanted to borrow my little sister's jeans, but they didn't fit.
  4. (transitive, with to) To make conform in size and shape. I want to fit the drapes to the windows.
    1. (transitive) To tailor; to change to the appropriate size. I had a suit fitted by the tailor.
  5. (transitive) To be in agreement with. These definitions fit most of the usage.
  6. (transitive) To adjust. The regression program fit a line to the data.
  7. (transitive) To attach, especially when requiring exact positioning or sizing.
    • {{quote-news }}
  8. (transitive) To equip or supply. The chandler will fit us with provisions for a month.
  9. (transitive) To make ready. I'm fitting the ship for a summer sail home.
  10. (intransitive, archaic) To be seemly.
  11. To be proper or becoming.
    • Alexander Pope Nor fits it to prolong the feast.
  12. (intransitive) To be in harmony. The paint, the fabrics, the rugs all fit.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The degree to which something fits. This shirt is a bad fit. Since he put on weight, his jeans have been a tight fit.
  2. Conformity of elements one to another. It's hard to get a good fit using second-hand parts.
  3. The part of an object upon which anything fits tightly.
  4. (advertising) how well a particular commercial execution captures the character or values of a brand. The Wonder Bread advertising research results showed the “White Picket Fence” commercial had strong fit ratings.
  5. (statistics) goodness of fit.
Usually used in the singular preceded by an indefinite article and an adjective.
etymology 3 unknown, possibly from Old English fitt, or, from the sense of fitted to length.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic) A section of a poem or ballad.
    • 1771, , "Letter to Bennet Langton, Esq. (March 20)," in , (1791), vol 2: Dr. Percy has written a long ballad in many fits.
    • Spenser to play some pleasant fit
etymology 4 unknown, possibly from Old English fitt.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (medicine, dated) A seizure or convulsion. My grandfather died after having a fit.
  2. (medicine) A sudden and vigorous appearance of a symptom over a short period of time.
  3. A sudden outburst of emotion. He had a laughing fit which lasted more than ten minutes. She had a fit and had thrown all of his clothes out of the window. He threw a fit when his car broke down.
  4. A sudden burst (of an activity).
    • {{quote-news}}
Synonyms: (sudden outburst of emotion) blowout, hissy, tantrum, spell, moment, (sudden burst of activity) flurry, frenzy, paroxysm
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, medicine) To suffer a fit.
  • {{rank}}
fit as a fiddle
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (simile, colloquial) Perfectly fit; in excellent health; in excellent condition.
    • 1915, , Something New, ch. 2: You wake up, feeling as fit as a fiddle; you look at the window and see the sun, and thank Heaven for a fine day.
    • 2008, Alexander Jung and Christoph Pauly, "Iceland's Credit Crunch Blues," Businessweek, 11 Apr.: Icelanders will assure you that their economy is really as fit as a fiddle, and it is true that the country does produce a tidy budget surplus.
Synonyms: fit as a butcher's dog, fit as a flea, sound as a bell, sound in wind and limb
fit as a lop
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (simile, colloquial, Geordie) In good health; very fit.
fitness {{wikipedia}} {{versity}} etymology fit + ness. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • /ˈfɪtnəs/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The condition of being fit, suitable or appropriate.
  2. The cultivation of an attractive and/or healthy physique.
    • {{quote-news }}
  3. (UK, slang) The condition of being attractive, fanciable or beautiful.
Synonyms: (cultivation of an attractive and/or healthy physique) beauty, health, (condition of being suitable) strength, suitability, competence, capability, (condition of being attractive) see
  • (cultivation of an attractive and/or healthy physique) flab, sloth
  • (ability to perform) weakness
  • infests
fitspo etymology From fitspiration.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Photographs or other material intended to provide motivation to exercise and be physically fit.
    • 2013, book review from Elle, quoted in Alexandra Heminsley, Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run, Scribner (2013), ISBN 9781451697155, unnumbered page: It's packed with get-off-your-butt fitspo from the author's journey from 1-miler to marathoner.
    • 2013, Jennifer J. Thomas & Jenni Schaefer, Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One's) Relationship with Food a Problem?, Hazelden (2013), ISBN 9781616494988, page 137: Both thinspo and fitspo sites do one thing very well: make people feel bad about themselves.
    • 2013, Harriet Williamson, "Beware of the dangerous fetishising of fitness on social media", The Telegraph, 14 October 2013: The idea that ‘fitspo’ images have anything to do with health or fitness is entirely spurious and the use of my picture is proof of this.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
Synonyms: fitspiration
fitter pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{head}}
  1. comparative form of fit An exercise bike won't make you fitter if you never find time to use it. My bird's loads fitter than yours.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. a person who fit or assemble something a fitter of clothing, or of machinery
  2. (informal) an epileptic
  3. (UK, dated) A coal broker who conducts the sales between the owner of a coal pit and the shipper. {{rfquotek}}
  • titfer
fittie etymology fit + ie
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang) A sexual attractive person.
verb: {{head}}
  1. (colloquial) alternative form of fitting
  • {{seeCites}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. (colloquial) alternative form of fitting
fitting {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: (ready) fittin', fittin pronunciation
  • /fɪtɪŋ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of fit
  2. (informal, US, with infinitive) Ready, preparing. I'm fitting to go home and sleep.
    • 1846, Emily Dickinson, letter, Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds, Lyndall Gordon, 2010, “'I am fitting to go to South Hadley Seminary [as Mount Holyoke was known], and expect if my health is good to enter that institution a year from next fall', she confided to Abiah.”
Synonyms: (ready) fixing to (see also going to)
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Ready, appropriate, or in keeping
    • {{quote-news}}
    • {{quote-news}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A small detachable part of a device or machine.
  2. The act of trying on clothes to inspect or adjust the fit.
  3. (manufacturing) The process of applying craft methods such as skilled filing to the making and assembling of machines or other products.
  4. (chiefly, British) Domestic moveable piece of furniture, which can be taken along when moving out, US furnishing (see also fixture). the fittings of a church or study
fit up
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (criminology, slang) Conspire to incriminate falsely a presumably innocent person. The gun was placed in her car in an effort to fit her up.
  2. To furnish with suitable things; to prepare; to fit out. to fit up a room for a guest The shoemaker will fit you up with an fine pair of boots.
Synonyms: (conspire to incriminate) frame
five-finger discount
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Theft or pilferage, typically of a small item; shoplifting.
fiveish etymology five + ish
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) Any time close to five o'clock.
five-knuckle shuffle
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, somewhat, vulgar) masturbation
five-o etymology From the police procedural television series (first aired in 1968), so named because it is set in Hawaii, which is the 50th U.S. state.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang, street slang) The police.
fiver pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A banknote with a value of five units of currency. Do you have a fiver I could borrow? I can pay you back tomorrow.
  2. By extension: the value in money that this represents. I bought the chocolates; they were only a fiver.
  3. A clenched fist.
  4. A mathematical puzzle played on a 5 × 5 grid.
  5. (Islam) A Zaydi Shiite Muslim, who disagrees with the majority of Shiites on the identity of the Fifth Imam.
  6. (religion) A person who gives five percent of their income or five hours a week of their time to charity (a reduction of ten percent tithing).
five second rule
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The thesis that food fallen on the ground remains equally edible and healthful if lifted therefrom within five seconds.
fix {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: fixe (archaic) pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈfɪks/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology From Old French fixer, from fixe, from Latin fixus.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A repair or corrective action.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleThat plumber's fix is much better than the first one's.
  2. A difficult situation; a quandary or dilemma. exampleIt rained before we repaired the roof, and were we in a fix!
  3. (informal) A single dose of an addictive drug administered to a drug user.
    • Alain Jourgensen "Just one fix!"
  4. A prearrangement of the outcome of a supposedly competitive process, such as a sporting event, a game, an election, a trial, or a bid.
    • Outsiders: studies in the sociology of deviance‎, page 160, Howard Saul Becker, 1963, “As the professional thief notes: You can tell by the way the case is handled in court when the fix is in.”
  5. A determination of location. exampleWe have a fix on your position.
  6. (US) fettling (mixture used to line a furnace)
Synonyms: See also
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, obsolete) To pierce; now generally replaced by transfix.
    1. (transitive, by extension) (Of a piercing look) to direct at someone. He fixed me with a sickly grin, and said, "I told you it wouldn't work!"
  2. (transitive) To attach; to affix; to hold in place. A dab of chewing gum will fix your note to the bulletin board. A leech can fix itself to your skin without you feeling it.
    1. (transitive, figuratively, usually in the passive) To focus or determine (oneself, on a concept); to fixate. She's fixed on the idea of becoming a doctor.
  3. (transitive) To mend, to repair. That heater will start a fire if you don't fix it.
  4. (transitive, informal) To prepare (food). She fixed dinner for the kids.
  5. (transitive) To make (a contest, vote, or gamble) unfair; to privilege one contestant or a particular group of contestants, usually before the contest begins; to arrange immunity for defendants by tampering with the justice system via bribery or extortionSutherland, Edwin H. (ed) (1937): The Professional Thief: by a Professional Thief. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Reprinted by various publishers in subsequent decades.] A majority of voters believed the election was fixed in favor of the incumbent.
  6. (transitive, US, informal) To surgically render an animal, especially a pet, infertile. Rover stopped digging under the fence after we had the vet fix him.
  7. (transitive, mathematics, sematics) To map a (point or subset) to itself.
  8. (transitive, informal) To take revenge on, to best; to serve justice on an assumed miscreant. He got caught breaking into lockers, so a couple of guys fixed him after work.
  9. (transitive) To render (a photographic impression) permanent by treating with such applications as will make it insensitive to the action of light.
  10. (transitive, chemistry, biology) To convert into a stable or available form. Legumes are valued in crop rotation for their ability to fix nitrogen. {{rfquotek}}
  11. (intransitive) To become fixed; to settle or remain permanently; to cease from wandering; to rest.
    • {{rfdate}} Waller Your kindness banishes your fear, / Resolved to fix forever here.
  12. (intransitive) To become firm, so as to resist volatilization; to cease to flow or be fluid; to congeal; to become hard and malleable, as a metallic substance. {{rfquotek}}
Synonyms: (make a contest unfair) doctor, rig, (render infertile) neuter, spay, desex, castrate, See also
  • (to hold in place) move, change
fixed {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of fix
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Not changing, not able to be changed, staying the same. fixed assets I work fixed hours for a fixed salary. Every religion has its own fixed ideas. He looked at me with a fixed glare.
  2. Stationary.
  3. Attached; affixed
    • {{RQ:Schuster Hepaticae V}} The closest affinities of the Jubulaceae are with the Lejeuneaceae. The two families share in common: (a) elaters usually 1-spiral, trumpet-shaped and fixed to the capsule valves, distally…
  4. Chemically stable.
  5. Supplied with what one needs. She's nicely fixed after two divorce settlements.
  6. (legal) Of sound, recorded on a permanent medium. In the United States, recordings are only granted copyright protection when the sounds in the recording were fixed and first published on or after February 15, 1972.
  7. (dialectal, informal) Surgically rendered infertile (spayed, neutered or castrated). a fixed tomcat; the she-cat has been fixed
  8. Rigged; fraudulently prearranged.
Synonyms: (not able to be changed, staying the same) stable, immobile
  • (not able to be changed, staying the same) mobile
fixie etymology fixed + ie
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A fixed-gear bicycle.
    • 2013, Gordon Young, Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City (page 107) Coming from San Francisco, where gentrification swept through neighborhoods faster than hipster trends like fixies, tattoos, and retro eighties wardrobes, I didn't think Erin had anything to worry about.
    • {{quote-news}}
fixing Alternative forms: (modal verb) fina, finna
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The act of subverting a vote.
  2. (UK, usually plural) Something to aid attachment during construction (screws, wall plugs, etc)
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of fix
  2. (southern US, slang, with infinitive) Going; preparing; ready. {{only used in}}. exampleIt's fixing to rain.
Alternative forms: fixin'Synonyms: (going) about, fitting
fixing to Alternative forms: (Southern US) finna, (AAVE:) fina, fixna, fitna
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (Southern US, Appalachia and AAVE, informal) Going to; preparing to; about to. exampleIt's fixing to rain.   I'm fixing to whoop you if you don't shut up.
    • 1925, The Southwestern Reporter, volume 266, page 434: Three of us boys, myself, Iver Holt, and Webbie Touchstone crawled upon this board that went across the tank to dive off. I was fixing to, but [one of the other boys] got up there before I did, and …
Synonyms: fitting to, going to
fix it again Tony
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (slang, derogatory, automobiles) a derogatory slang name for Fiat, the Italian auto maker, due to its commonly perceived frequent breakdowns when used in North America.
etymology 1 From unknown + Middle English gig.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic) A flirtatious, coquettish girl. {{defdate}}
etymology 2 fizz + gig. See gig.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic) A small squib-like firework that explodes with a fizzing or hissing noise.
    • 1864 (published posthumously), Frank Fowler, Last Gleanings, page 44, Very different were our fizgigs at Brambles′. Neither powder nor pepper (you know) was adulterated in those days, and if you made a fizgig, why it blossomed and starred like a golden thistle, flashed into a myriad sparklets like a tiny fountain for Queen Mab and her troupe to dance around.
    • 2008, , The End, page 35, Half a dozen boys in linen blazers, their hair in uniform flattops, were shooting off fizgigs in his alley and paid him no mind as he pretended to use his key to unlock the alley-oop door.
etymology 3
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. alternative spelling of fishgig
    • 1908, , Captain Margaret, 2004, page 104, They dart their fizgigs. They never miss.
etymology 4 {{rfe}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, slang, obsolete) A police informer.
    • 1922, , Parliamentary Debates, Volume 101, page 3262, In order to make the clause perfect the Minister might add— All “spotters,” spies, fizgigs, and informers will be properly rewarded,…and guaranteed against publicity.
    • 2006, Pip Wilson, Faces in the Street: Louisa and Henry Lawson and the Castlereagh Street Push, page 191, “Fizgigs?” Wood asks. “Pimps. A fizgig is an agent provocateur – he gets you to do something you shouldn′t do and that will hang you in court. A pimp gets you to do something innocuous that will still hang you.…”
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) physicist
    • 2004, Jacqueline Davies, Where the Ground Meets the Sky (page 132) Uncle Nick was this old fizzler on the Hill. The grownups called him Nicholas Baker and the kids all called him Uncle Nick, but the army couldn't fool me. I knew he was Niels Bohr, the world's greatest atomic scientist, all the way from Denmark.
fizzog etymology From physiognomy. pronunciation
  • (British) /ˈfɪz.ɒɡ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, British) The face.
    • 2005, Charlie Brooker, The Guardian, 26 Feb 2005: Thus psychologically broken, they're offered a lifeline: Nicky and Co. offer to shave a decade off their fizzogs courtesy of a haircut, a makeover and a faceload of plastic surgery.
flab etymology {{back-form}} pronunciation
  • /flæb/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Soft, loose flesh on a person's body; fat.
flabbergastation etymology flabbergast + -ation
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) Bewildered shock or surprise; the state or condition of being flabbergasted.{{reference-book | editor = Joseph Wright (Ed.) | year = 1900 | title = The English Dialect Dictionary, Being the Complete Vocabulary of All Dialect | url = | pages = 376 | publisher = H. Frowde }}
    • 1856. Punch, Vol. 31. The Punch Office. page 240. We scarcely remember to have ever seen any respectable party in a greater state of flabbergastation than the writer of some observations in Mb. Cobden's Russo-Manchesterian organ, the Morning Star, of Thursday, December the fourth.
    • 1832-1837. Honoré de Balzac. Droll Stories: Volume 2. Kessinger Publishing. page 65 Upon a sign, she takes ahold of two cords of black silk, to which were attached loops, through which she passes her arms, and in the twinkling of an eye is translated by two pulleys from her bed through the ceiling into the room above, and the trap closing as it has opened, left the old duenna in a state of great flabbergastation, when, turning her head, she neither saw robe nor woman, and perceived that the women had been robbed.
    • 1918. Shaw Desmond. The Soul of Denmark. C. Scribner's Sons. page 96. I can recall my flabbergastation when in the house of a Jutlander of the middle class I heard him holding fluent converse with his children in some heathen dialect...
    • 1944. Field and Stream: Volume 49. CBS Publications. page 90. Winchester .22 Automatic which we saw demonstrated (to our utter flabbergastation) in a local hardware store by a visiting Winchester representative.
    • 1998. Newcomer's Guide to the Afterlife: On the Other Side Known Commonly as "The Little Book". Daniel Quinn, Tom Whalen. Random House Digital. Ignoring the other's utter flabbergastation, Matthews turned and graciously introduced him to me.
  2. (archaic, colloquial, humorous) The act of confounding or bewildering.{{reference-book | editor = William Dwight Whitney and Benjamin Eli Smith (Eds.) | year = 1897 | title = The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia: Dictionary | url = | pages = 2245 | publisher = Century }}
fladge etymology Phonetic shortening of flagellation.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (BDSM, slang) flagellation (as a sadomasochistic practice), or pornography that depicts it
    • 2005, Edward Shorter, Written in the Flesh: A History of Desire (page 227) One could find plenty of 'soft fladge' in British porn films …
    • Nick Urzdown, A Spanking Good Life (page 25) His honesty was a joy to behold: “I don't know shit about the fladge, son, but my punters can't get enough of it. …
flak {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: flack (adverse criticism and spokesperson senses) etymology German acronym of Fliegerabwehrkanone. First attested 1938 as “antiaircraft gun”, 1940 as “antiaircraft fire”. Sense of “adverse criticism” attested since 1963 in American English. pronunciation
  • /flæk/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Ground-based anti-aircraft guns firing explosive shells.
    • 1964, David John Cawdell Irving, The Destruction of Dresden, page 74, … to consider whether the city was in February 1945 an undefended city within the meaning of the 1907 Hague Convention, it will be necessary to examine the establishment and subsequent total dispersal of the city's flak batteries, before the date of the triple blow.
    • 2007, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., Retreat to the Reich: The German Defeat in France, 1944, footnote, page 30, He was promoted to general of flak artillery on March 1, 1945, and ended the war as the general of the flak arm at OKL, the High Command of the Luftwaffe.
  2. Anti-aircraft shell fire.
    • 1943 November 29, Target: Germany, in , page 80, At 1057 we were just over the islands and at 1100 the tail gunner reported flak at six o'clock, below.
    • 1999, Brian O'Neill, Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer, page 118, I could hear the fragments from the flak shells hitting the plane like someone throwing rocks at it.
  3. (figuratively, informal) Adverse criticism.
    • {{quote-news }}
    • 1990, Joel H. Spring, The American School, 1642-1990, page 380, This filter Herman and Chomsky call “flak,” which refers to letters, speeches, phone calls, and other forms of group and individual complaints. Advertisers and broadcasters avoid programming content that might cause large volumes of flak.
  4. (informal) A public-relations spokesperson.
    • 2006, , , A Propaganda Model, in 2006 [2001], Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Douglas Kellner (editors), Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks, revised edition, page 277, AIM head, Reed Irvine's diatribes are frequently published, and right-wing network flaks who regularly assail the “liberal media,” such as Michael Ledeen, are given Op-ed column space, sympathetic reviews, and a regular place on talk shows as experts.
Synonyms: AAA, triple-A, ack-ack
flake pronunciation
  • (UK) /fleɪk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English flake, from Old English *, from Old Norse flak, from Proto-Germanic *flaką, from Proto-Indo-European *pele-. Cognate with Norwegian flak, Swedish flak, Danish flage, German Flocke, Dutch vlak and vlok, Latin plaga.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A loose filmy mass or a thin chiplike layer of anything; a film; flock; lamina; layer; scale; as, a flake of snow, paint, or fish. There were a few flakes of paint on the floor from when we were painting the walls. flakes of dandruff
  2. (archaeology) A prehistoric tool chipped out of stone.
  3. (informal) A person who is impractical, flighty, unreliable, or inconsistent; especially with maintaining a living. She makes pleasant conversation, but she's kind of a flake when it comes time for action.
  4. A carnation with only two colours in the flower, the petal having large stripes.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To break or chip off in a flake. The paint flaked off after only a year.
  2. (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.
  3. (technical) To store an item such as rope in layers The line is flaked into the container for easy attachment and deployment.
  4. (Ireland, slang) to hit (another person).
etymology 2 A name given to dogfish to improve its marketability as a food, perhaps from etymology 1.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK) Dogfish.
  2. (Australia) The meat of the gummy shark.
    • 1999, R. Shotton, , Case studies of the management of elasmobranch fisheries, Part 1, page 746, Larger shark received about 10%/kg less than those in the 4-6 kg range. Most of the Victorian landed product is wholesaled as carcasses on the Melbourne Fish Market where it is sold to fish and chip shops, the retail sector and through restaurants as ‘flake’.
    • 2007, Archie Gerzee, WOW! Tales of a Larrikin Adventurer, page 141, The local fish shop sold a bit of flake (shark) but most people were too spoiled to eat shark. The main item on the Kiwi table was still snapper, and there was plenty of them, caught by the Kiwis themselves, so no shortage whatsoever.
    • 2007, Lyall Robert Ford, 101 ways to Improve Your Health, page 45, Until recently, deep-sea fish were considered to have insignificant levels of mercury but even these now contain higher levels than they used to, so you should also avoid the big fish like tuna, swordfish, and flake (shark) that are highest up the food chain.
etymology 3 Compare Icelandic flaki?, fleki?, Danish flage, Dutch vlaak.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, dialect) A paling; a hurdle.
  2. A platform of hurdles, or small sticks made fast or interwoven, supported by stanchion, for drying codfish and other things.
    • English Husbandman You shall also, after they be ripe, neither suffer them to have straw nor fern under them, but lay them either upon some smooth table, boards, or flakes of wands, and they will last the longer.
  3. (nautical) A small stage hung over a vessel's side, for workmen to stand on while calk, etc.
  4. (nautical) {{alt form}} (turn or coil of cable or hawser)
    • Frank T. Bullen, The Cruise of the Cachalot: The Story of a New Bedford Whaler Flake after flake ran out of the tubs, until we were compelled to hand the end of our line to the second mate to splice his own on to.
flaky etymology flake + -y Alternative forms: flakey pronunciation
  • /fleɪkiː/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Consisting of flakes or of small, loose masses; lying, or cleaving off, in flakes or layers; flakelike.
  2. (informal, of a, person) Unreliable; prone to make plans with others but then abandon those plans. Some of his friends were flaky.
  3. (informal, of a, thing) Unreliable; working only on an intermittent basis; prone to cease functioning properly.
    • {{quote-news}}
    I cannot enjoy the online game because of my flaky Internet connection.
flamage etymology flame + age
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Internet, slang) flame posting considered as a group If you insist on posting your baby photos to that abortion newsgroup, get ready for some flamage.
flamer pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology flame + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial, often, pejorative) A very flamboyant ("flaming"), effeminate gay male.
  2. (computing, slang) One who flame, or posts vitriolic criticism.
    • 1997, Alex J. Packer, Pamela Espeland, How Rude! Send a note to the flamer. Tell him that his message was inappropriate. Request that he refrain from posting anything like it again.
flaming pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. On fire with visible flame. The flaming debris kept the firefighter well back, and the sparks threatened the neighborhood.
  2. (colloquial) Extremely obvious; visibly evident. Typically of a homosexual male. To call him a flaming homosexual would be an understatement, but I think he acts that way just to see people react.
  3. (British, colloquial) Damned, bloody. I wasted three hours in that flaming traffic jam!
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of flame
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. sterilization by holding an object in a hot flame
  2. (internet slang) vitriolic criticism You can expect a flaming if you post irrelevant spam to a newsgroup.
flaming Nora
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (UK, mildly, vulgar) expression of surprise, contempt, outrage, disgust, boredom, frustration.
related terms:
  • flipping Nora
  • bloody Nora
flaming queen
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, LGBT) A homosexual, and often cross-dressing, man acting in an ostentatious and flaunting manner akin to a diva.
    • 2003 Leila J. Rupp and Verta Taylor Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret, University Of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0226731582, page 29 By his senior year, Gary was a "flaming queen," wearing full makeup and platform shoes.
    • 2006 Dale B. Martin Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 978-0664230463, page 89 No person could be masculine without becoming fully feminine, and no person could be feminine without also at the same time becoming fully masculine. In ethical-prescriptive terms, this would be interpreted as meaning that all femmes must become as butch as possible, and all butches must work their hardest to become flaming queens. Everyone must take the macho, made-up, cross-dressing basketball star or actor as the Christian role model—or the hyperfeminine drag queen fashion model, or the gentlemanly butch lesbian country singer.
    • 2006 Meadows Damon Amin and Jason Poole Convict's Candy,Ghettoheat, ISBN 978-0974298221, page 91 Outside the cell, Jose carried himself like a true gentleman, yet behind his cell door with Candy, he'd frolicked about like a flaming queen; Jose traipsed around in homemade thongs, cropped T-shirts, cut-off shorts and shower slippers.
flange {{was wotd}} {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /flændʒ/
etymology From dialectal English flange, flanch, from Old French flanche. See flank. As a term for a group of baboons, it was popularized in the comedy TV series Not the Nine O'Clock News.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An external or internal rib or rim, used either to add strength or to hold something in place.
  2. The projecting edge of a rigid or semi-rigid component.
  3. (gaming) An ability in a role-playing game which is not commonly available, overpowered or arbitrarily imposed by the referees.
    • 1998: Mr MI Pennington, Can the Players be Trusted? on [The] enduring problem with the Gathering is that [players] can't affect anything that happens ... whatever they do, the LT just flange it back to the original plot line.
    • 2007: balor, Changing the metaphysics on Rule 7 'Oh look , the amulet of flange has been activated, this means all Paladins now only have one heal per day instead of two.'
  4. (vulgar slang) A vulva.
    • 2001: tedfat, Flange!!!! in alt.society.nottingham I was in bed the other day with the missus and I asked to see her flange. Imagine my surprise when she got up went downstairs to my toolbox and brought me up a metal looking object called a flange!!!!! Needless to say when she asked to see my nuts the next time I obliged by doing exactly the same as her.
    • 2003: Ray Gordon, Hot Sheets 'God, she's got a tight flange!' the plumber gasped, splaying the girl's buttocks and focusing on her O-ring.
  5. (rare, humorous) The collective noun for a group of baboons.
    • 2006, Rick Crosier - Getting Away with Murder (I suspect they hired a flange of baboons to mind the house.)
Synonyms: (collective noun for a group of baboons) congress
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To be bent into a flange.
  2. (transitive) To make a flange on; to furnish with a flange.
  • fangle
flannel {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: flannen (dialectal), flanan, flanning, flanen (Scotland) etymology From Middle English flaunneol, from xno flanelle (compare nrf flianné), diminutive of Old French flaine, floene, from Gaulish, from Proto-Celtic *wlānos, *wlanā (compare Welsh gwlân, Breton gloan), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wĺ̥h₁neh₂ 〈*h₂wĺ̥h₁neh₂〉. More at wool. pronunciation
  • /ˈflænəl/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) A soft cloth material woven from wool, possibly combined with cotton or synthetic fibers. With the weather turning colder, it was time to dig out our flannel sheets and nightclothes.
    • 2012, Tom Lamont, How Mumford & Sons became the biggest band in the world (in The Daily Telegraph, 15 November 2012) First singer and guitarist Marcus Mumford, wearing a black suit, then bassist Ted Dwane, in leather bomber and T-shirt. Next bearded banjo player Winston Marshall, his blue flannel shirt hanging loose, and pianist Ben Lovett, wrapped in a woollen coat.
  2. (New Zealand, British) A washcloth.
  3. (slang) Soothing plausible untruth and half truth, claptrap - "Don't talk flannel"
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. made of flannel
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) to rub with a flannel
  2. to flatter; suck up to
flannelmouth Alternative forms: flannel-mouth, flannel mouth etymology flannel + mouth
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, dated) One who speaks in an unclear, muffle, or sluggish manner.
    • 1913, , The Valley of the Moon, ch. 4: "Oh!—Oh!—Oh!" Bert screamed, with every blow she struck "Hey, old flannel-mouth! Watch out! You'll get yours in a second."
    • 1943 Oct 8, "Why Give Clues to Your Age?," Ottawa Citizen (Canada), p. 5, (retrieved 11 Oct 2011): [Y]ou may detect your own "elderly" tricks—pushing your shoulders up around your ears, being a mumble-boy or a flannelmouth!
    • 1998 Nov. 30, , "With Respect, You Moron...," Time: How do they sit there, hour after hour, and listen to the congressional gasbags without blowing their tops? . . . never once leaping over the table, grabbing an inquisitor by his ears and screaming, "Hey, flannel mouth—does the phrase ‘posturing hypocrite windbag’ ring a bell?"
  2. (informal, dated) One who speaks in a glib manner with the intent of deceiving or manipulating others.
    • 1947 Jan. 6, George O'Halloran, "Chester the Pup," Milwaukee Journal, p. 2 (retrieved 11 Oct 2011): Uncle Sedgwick, who is considered around and about as somewhat of a flannelmouth, has talked Drizzlepuss into going ice fishing. . . . Uncle can tell you some wonderful fish stories, but, boy, I've never known a guy who's so careless with the truth.
    • 1962 Oct. 11, , "Joy Gladly Spread," Spokane Daily Chronicle, p. 4 (retrieved 11 Oct 2011): "Flannelmouth Fred"—He spends most of his time going around indiscriminately patting all the other employes on the back and saying "You're doing a grand job." . . . But the rest of the hired hands . . . know that after they finish doing their work, he'll ask them to help do his.
flannie etymology From flannelette pronunciation
  • (AU) {{enPR}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, slang) A button-down collared shirt made of flannelette.
Synonyms: flanno
flap etymology Middle English flappe pronunciation
  • /flæp/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Anything broad and flexible that hangs loose, or that is attached by one side or end and is easily moved.
    • Sir Thomas Browne a cartilaginous flap upon the opening of the larynx
    • {{quote-journal}}
    examplea flap of a garment;   The envelope flap seemed curiously wrinkled.
  2. A hinged leaf, as of a table or shutter.
  3. An upset, stir, scandal or controversy exampleThe comment caused quite a flap in the newspapers.
  4. The motion of anything broad and loose, or a stroke or sound made with it.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 4 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients] , “Then he commenced to talk, really talk. and inside of two flaps of a herring's fin he had me mesmerized, like Eben Holt's boy at the town hall show. He talked about the ills of humanity, and the glories of health and Nature and service and land knows what all.”
    examplethe flap of a sail;  the flap of a wing
  5. A disease in the lips of horses.
  6. (aviation) A hinged surface on the trailing edge of the wings of an aeroplane.
  7. (surgery) A piece of tissue incompletely detached from the body, as an intermediate stage of plastic surgery.
  8. (slang) The female genitals.
Synonyms: (upset)
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To move (something broad and loose) back and forth. The crow slowly flapped its wings.
    • New Spring, page 316, Robert Jordan, 2004, “He could be flapping his tongue about you right this minute to anybody who'll bloody listen.”
  1. (intransitive) To move loosely back and forth. The flag flapped in the breeze.
    • {{quote-news }}
flapling etymology From flap + ling.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (paleontology, informal) A juvenile pterosaur.
flap one's gums
verb: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, colloquial, US) To speak idly; to talk without effect. What's that old coot flapping his gums about this time?
flappable etymology Back-formation from unflappable.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Capable of becoming fluster or upset.
flapper {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 {{rel-top}} Possibly from Victorian sporting slang, meaning young wildfowl in August which are full-sized, tender and worthwhile quarry, but are naive and unable to fly properly due to the late development of flight feathers in ducks and geese. Alternative derivations are also suggested. The word "flap" was slang in in the 17th century for a prostituteJames Mabbe (1572 – 1642), Celestina IX. 110 "Fall to your flap, my Masters, kisse and clip. Ibid. 112 Come hither, you foule flappes.": by the late 19th century in England "flapper" could mean either a very young prostituteBarrere & Leland, Dictionary of Slang: "Flippers, flappers, very young girls trained to vice" (1889): or a teenage girl too old to be a child and too young to be considered 'out' in society: "A 'flapper', we may explain, is a young lady who has not yet been promoted to long frocks and the wearing of her hair 'up'"The Times, Thursday, Feb 20, 1908; pg. 15; Issue 38574; col F . The earliest documented use in the sense of "attractive young girl" is in the 1903 novel Sandford of Merton by Desmond Coke: "There's a stunning flapper."Oxford English Dictionary, 1989 edition.. The word also suggested a spirited girl of unconventional or mischievous disposition. An advertisement in the The TimesThe Times, Wednesday, Jul 15, 1914; pg. 1; Issue 40576; col B reads: "The father of a young lady, aged 15 – a typical “FLAPPER” – with all the self assurance of a woman of 30 would be grateful for the recommendation of a seminary (not a convent) where she might be placed for a year or two with the object of taming her." By 1912 the word had apparently both crossed the Atlantic and evolved to mean a slightly older girl: British stage impresario John Tiller defined it for readers of the New York Times as meaning "a girl who has just "come out". She is at an awkward age, neither a child nor a woman..."''New York Times'', March 31, 1912:'Some facts about the ballet'. The word had clearly caught on, as a Mme. Nordica is quoted using it in the New York Times of January 1, 1913: "...a thin little flapper of a girl donning a skirt in which she can hardly take a step, extinguishing all but her little white teeth with a dumpy bucket of a hat..." By 1920 in England it clearly meant any young woman of a pleasure-seeking disposition: a Dr R. Murray-Leslie criticized "the social butterfly type...the frivolous, scantily-clad, jazzing flapper, irresponsible and undisciplined, to whom a dance, a new hat, or a man with a car, were of more importance than the fate of nations."The Times, Thursday, Feb 05, 1920; pg. 9; Issue 42326; col A {{rel-bottom}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial, now chiefly historical) A young woman, especially when unconventional or without decorum; now particularly associated with the 1920s. {{defdate}}
    • 1910, Saki, ‘The Baker's Dozen’, Reginald in Russia: I paid violent and unusual attention to a flapper all through the meal in order to make you jealous.
    • 2002, Rena Sanderson, 8: Women in Fitzgerald's Fiction, Ruth Prigozy (editor), The Cambridge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald, page 143, F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known as a chronicler of the 1920s and as the writer who, more than any other, identified, delineated, and popularized the female representative of that era, the flapper. Though it is an overstatement to say that Fitzgerald created the flapper, he did, with considerable assistance from his wife Zelda, offer the public an image of a young woman who was spoiled, sexually liberated, self-centered, fun-loving, and magnetic.…Although she is often seen now as a mere fashion of the bygone Jazz Age, the flapper should be regarded as one of the great authentic characters in American history.
    • 2009, Matthew Avery Sutton, Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America, page 125, Among McPherson's most passionate and visible advocates were Southern California's young flappers, who turned out in droves to cheer on the evangelist. While most fundamentalists vehemently criticized flappers, viewing them as symbols of moral decay and the decline of Victorian gender identities, McPherson had embraced them. Critics of her Bible college identified the young female ministers with whom she surrounded herself not as holdouts to Victorianism, but as outright flappers. The press even dubbed one of McPherson's most successful young protégés the flapper evangelist.
etymology 2 flap + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Something that flaps.
  2. A flipper; a limb of a turtle, which functions as a flipper or paddle when swimming.
    • {{rfdate}} Buckley The flapper of a porpoise.
    • 1878, , The Three Admirals, page 46, It was still too shallow for the turtle to swim, but it used its four flappers with so much effect against its two assailants, as to give them a thorough shower-bath.
  3. (plumbing) A flapper valve in a toilet-flushing mechanism.
  4. (rock climbing) Any injury that results in a loose flap of skin on the fingers, making grip difficult.
flare etymology Origin unknown. pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /fleɚ/
  • (RP) /flɛə/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A source of brightly burning light or intense heat used to attract attention in an emergency, to illuminate an area, or as a decoy.
    • 2010, James Fleming, Cold Blood ...when the soldiers openly laughed at him, I knew he was in the bag. While he was putting on the snowplough, the Whites shot up a flare to see what was happening.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 7 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “The turmoil went on—no rest, no peace. […] It was nearly eleven o'clock now, and he strolled out again. In the little fair created by the costers' barrows the evening only seemed beginning; and the naphtha flares made one's eyes ache, the men's voices grated harshly, and the girls' faces saddened one.”
    exampleThe flares steered the traffic away from the accident. exampleA spent flare had punctured the tire. exampleThe flares attracted the heat-seeking missiles.
  2. A widening of an object with an otherwise roughly constant width.
    • 2003, Timothy Noakes, Lore of Running, page 270: The flare on the inside of the shoe resists ankle pronation;
    exampleThat's a genuine early '70's flare on those pants.
  3. (aviation) The transition from downward flight to level flight just before landing. exampleThe captain executed the flare perfectly, and we lightly touched down.
  4. (baseball) A low fly ball that is hit in the region between the infielder and the outfielder exampleJones hits a little flare to left that falls for a single.
  5. A type of pyrotechnic that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion. A colored flare used as a warning on the railroad, a fusee.
  6. (photography) lens flare
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To blaze brightly. The blast furnace flared in the night.
  2. (intransitive) To burn unsteadily. The candle flared in a sudden draught.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To open outward in shape. The cat flared its nostrils while sniffing at the air. The cat's nostrils flared when it sniffed at the air. The building flared from the third through the seventh floors to occupy the airspace over the entrance plaza. The sides of a bowl flare.
  4. (transitive) To cause to burn.
  5. To shine out with a sudden and unsteady light; to emit a dazzling or painfully bright light.
  6. To shine out with gaudy colours; to be offensively bright or showy.
    • Shakespeare With ribbons pendant, flaring about her head.
  7. (obsolete) To be exposed to too much light.
    • Prior flaring in sunshine all the day
  • feral
flash {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
etymology 1 In some senses, from Middle English flasshen, a variant of flasken, flaskien, which was likely of imitative origin; in other senses probably of gmq origin akin to Swedish dialectal flasa, related to flare.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To brief illuminate a scene. exampleHe flashed the light at the water, trying to see what made the noise.
  2. To blink; to shine or illuminate intermittent. exampleThe light flashed on and off.
    • {{RQ:Chmbrs YngrSt}} Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of mauve-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees; she saw a crimson cardinal winging through the foliage, and amorous tanagers flashing like scarlet flames athwart the pines.
  3. To be visible briefly. exampleThe scenery flashed by quickly.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 5 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.”
  4. To make visible briefly. exampleA number will be flashed on the screen. exampleThe special agents flashed their badges as they entered the building.
  5. (figurative) To break forth like a sudden flood of light; to show a momentary brilliance.
    • Thomas Talfourd (1795–1854) names which have flashed and thundered as the watch words of unnumbered struggles
    • Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) The object is made to flash upon the eye of the mind.
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in act.
  6. To flaunt; to display in a showy manner. exampleHe flashed a wad of hundred-dollar bills.
  7. To communicate quickly. exampleThe news services flashed the news about the end of the war to all corners of the globe. exampleto flash a message along the telephone wires;  to flash conviction on the mind
  8. (computing) To write to the memory of an updatable component such as a BIOS chip or games cartridge.
  9. (ambitransitive, informal) To briefly, and in most cases inadvertently, expose one's naked body or underwear, or part of it, in public. (Contrast streak.) exampleHer skirt was so short that she flashed her underpants as she was getting out of her car.
  10. (metallurgy) To release the pressure from a pressurized vessel.
  11. (juggling) To perform a flash.
  12. To move, or cause to move, suddenly
    • {{quote-news}}
  13. (glassmaking) To cover with a thin layer, as objects of glass with glass of a different colour.
  14. To trick up in a showy manner.
    • Antony Brewer (fl.1655) Limning and flashing it with various dyes.
  15. To strike and throw up large bodies of water from the surface; to splash.
    • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599) He rudely flashed the waves about.
  16. (transitive) To telephone a person, only allowing the phone to ring once, in order to request a call back. exampleSusan flashed Jessica, and then Jessica called her back, because Susan didn't have enough credit on her phone to make the call.
  17. (intransitive, of liquid) To evaporate suddenly. See Flash evaporation.
  18. (transitive, climbing) To climb (a route) successfully on the first attempt.
Synonyms: (to briefly illuminate) glint, (telephoning) beep
related terms:
  • flush (possibly)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A sudden, short, temporary burst of light.
  2. (figurative) A sudden and brilliant burst, as of wit or genius.
    • Shakespeare the flash and outbreak of a fiery mind
    • Wirt No striking sentiment, no flash of fancy.
  3. (linguistics) A language, created by a minority to maintain cultural identity, that cannot be understood by the ruling class; for example, Ebonics.
  4. A very short amount of time.
    • Francis Bacon The Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash.
    • 1876, , The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Quick—something must be done! done in a flash, too! But the very imminence of the emergency paralyzed his invention.
    • 2011, Phil McNulty, Euro 2012: Montenegro 2-2 England Fabio Capello insisted Rooney was in the right frame of mind to play in stormy Podgorica despite his father's arrest on Thursday in a probe into alleged betting irregularities, but his flash of temper - when he kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic - suggested otherwise.
  5. Material left around the edge of a moulded part at the parting line of the mould.
  6. (Cockney) The strips of bright cloth or buttons worn around the collars of market traders.
  7. (US, colloquial) A flashlight or electric torch.
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, p. 34: I reached a flash out of my car pocket and went down-grade and looked at the car.
  8. A light used for photography - a shortened form of camera flash.
  9. (juggling) A pattern where each prop is thrown and caught only once.
  10. (archaic) A preparation of capsicum, burnt sugar, etc., for colouring liquor to make it look stronger.
Synonyms: (sudden, short, temporary burst of light) gleam, glint, (material left around the edge of a mould) moulding flash, molding flash
  • (very short amount of time) aeon
  • (sudden, short, temporary burst of light) light
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (British and New Zealand, slang) Expensive-looking and demanding attention; stylish; showy.
    • 1892, Banjo Paterson, The barber man was small and flash, as barbers mostly are, He wore a strike-your-fancy sash, he smoked a huge cigar;
  2. (UK, of a person) Having plenty of ready money.
  3. (UK, of a person) Liable to show off expensive possessions or money.
  4. (US, slang) Occurring very rapidly, almost instantaneously.
etymology 2 From Middle English flasche, flaske; compare Old French flache, French flaque, which is of gem origin, akin to Middle Dutch vlacke.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A pool. {{rfquotek}}
  2. (engineering) A reservoir and sluiceway beside a navigable stream, just above a shoal, so that the stream may pour in water as boats pass, and thus bear them over the shoal.
  • halfs
flash drive
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (computer hardware) A small electronic device used to store digital data, more portable and robust than a hard drive.
Synonyms: USB flash drive, USB key, jump drive, thumb drive, pen drive
flasher {{wikipedia}} etymology flash + er pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Anything that flash, especially a device that switch a light on and off.
    1. (automotive) An indicator or turn signal.
  2. (slang) A person who expose their genitals or female nipple.
Synonyms: exhibitionist
flash for cash etymology 1 - From the UK practice of flashing lights at another car to indicate they can proceed + cash. 2 - From the flash of the camera's light.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (UK, informal) pertaining to a scam where a motorist flashes their headlights to indicate to another driver to proceed against normal give-way rules, then runs in to them and sues for damages.
  2. (AU, informal) pertaining to speed cameras.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The bridled nail-tail wallaby.
flat {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /flæt/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English flat, from Old Norse[ Flat] in {{w|Online Etymology Dictionary}} flatr (Norwegian and Swedish flat, Danish flad), from Proto-Germanic *flataz, from Proto-Indo-European *plat-; akin to Saterland Frisian flot, German Flöz, Ancient Greek πλατύς 〈platýs〉, Latvian plats, Sanskrit प्रत्हस् 〈prat'has〉[ Sanskrit, OHG and Greek cognates named]. Alternative forms: flatt, flatte (obsolete)
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Having no variations in height. exampleThe land around here is flat.
  2. (of a tire or other inflated object) Deflated, especially because of a puncture.
  3. (music, note) Lowered by one semitone.
  4. (music) Of a note or voice, lower in pitch than it should be.
  5. (music, voice) Without variations in pitch.
  6. Of a carbonated drink, with all or most of its carbon dioxide having come out of solution so that the drink no longer fizz or contains any bubble.
  7. Uninteresting. exampleThe party was a bit flat.
    • Coleridge A large part of the work is, to me, very flat.
    • Shakespeare How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable / Seem to me all the uses of this world.
  8. (wine) Lacking acidity without being sweet.
  9. Absolute; downright; peremptory. exampleHis claim was in flat contradiction to experimental results. exampleI'm not going to the party and that's flat.
    • Shakespeare flat burglary as ever was committed
    • Marston A great tobacco taker too, — that's flat.
  10. (slang) Describing certain features, usually the breasts and/or buttocks, that are extremely small or not visible at all. exampleThat girl is completely flat on both sides.
  11. (of a battery) Unable to emit power; dead.
  12. (juggling, of a throw) Without spin; spinless.
  13. Lacking liveliness of commercial exchange and dealings; depressed; dull. The market is flat.
  14. (phonetics, dated, of a consonant) sonant; vocal, as distinguished from a sharp (non-sonant) consonant
  15. (grammar) Not having an inflectional ending or sign, such as a noun used as an adjective, or an adjective as an adverb, without the addition of a formative suffix, or an infinitive without the sign "to". Many flat adverbs, as in 'run fast', 'buy cheap', etc. are from Old English.
  16. (golf, of a golf club) Having a head at a very obtuse angle to the shaft.
  17. (horticulture, of certain fruits) Flattening at the ends.
Synonyms: (having no variations in altitude) even, planar, plane, smooth, uniform, (deflated) deflate, puncture, (without variations in pitch) monotone, (uninteresting) boring, dull, uninteresting, (of wine: lacking acidity) flabby
  • (having no variations in altitude) bumpy, cratered, hilly (of terrain), rough (of a surface), wrinkled (of a surface)
  • (music: lowered by one semitone) sharp
  • (music: lower in pitch than it should be) sharp
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. So as to be flat. Spread the tablecloth flat over the table.
  2. Bluntly. I asked him if he wanted to marry me and he turned me down flat.
  3. (with units of time, distance, etc) Not exceeding. He can run a mile in four minutes flat.
  4. Completely. I am flat broke this month.
  5. Directly; flatly.
    • Herbert Sin is flat opposite to the Almighty.
  6. (finance, slang) Without allowance for accrue interest.
Synonyms: (so as to be flat), (bluntly) bluntly, curtly, (not exceeding) tops, (completely) absolutely, completely, utterly
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An area of level ground.
    • Francis Bacon Envy is as the sunbeams that beat hotter upon a bank, or steep rising ground, than upon a flat.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 3 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients] , “My hopes wa'n't disappointed. I never saw clams thicker than they was along them inshore flats. I filled my dreener in no time, and then it come to me that 'twouldn't be a bad idee to get a lot more, take 'em with me to Wellmouth, and peddle 'em out. Clams was fairly scarce over that side of the bay and ought to fetch a fair price.”
  2. (music) A note played a semitone lower than a natural, denoted by the symbol sign placed after the letter representing the note (e.g., B♭) or in front of the note symbol (e.g. ♭♪).
  3. (informal, automotive) A flat tyre/tire.
    • 2012, July 15. Richard Williams in Guardian Unlimited, Tour de France 2012: Carpet tacks cannot force Bradley Wiggins off track The next one surrendered his bike, only for that, too, to give him a second flat as he started the descent.
  4. (in the plural) A type of ladies' shoes with very low heels. exampleShe liked to walk in her flats more than in her high heels.
  5. (painting) A thin, broad brush used in oil and watercolor/watercolour painting.
  6. The flat part of something:
    1. (swordfighting) The flat side of a blade, as opposed to the sharp edge.
    2. The palm of the hand, with the adjacent part of the finger.
  7. A wide, shallow container. examplea flat of strawberries
  8. (geometry) A subset of n-dimensional space that is congruent to a Euclidean space of lower dimension.
  9. A flat-bottomed boat, without keel, and of small draught.
  10. A straw hat, broad-brimmed and low-crowned.
  11. (US) A railroad car without a roof, and whose body is a platform without sides; a platform car or flatcar.
  12. A platform on a wheel, upon which emblematic designs etc. are carried in processions.
  13. (mining) A horizontal vein or ore deposit auxiliary to a main vein; also, any horizontal portion of a vein not elsewhere horizontal. {{rfquotek}}
  14. (obsolete) A dull fellow; a simpleton.
    • Holmes Or if you cannnot make a speech, / Because you are a flat.
  15. (technical theatre) A rectangular wooden structure covered with masonite, lauan or muslin that can be raised as a platform.
  • (note) sharp
  • (shoes) high heels
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (poker slang) To make a flat call; to call without raising.
  2. (intransitive) To become flat or flattened; to sink or fall to an even surface. {{rfquotek}}
  3. (intransitive, music, colloquial) To fall from the pitch.
  4. (transitive, music) To depress in tone, as a musical note; especially, to lower in pitch by half a tone.
  5. (transitive, dated) To make flat; to flatten; to level.
  6. (transitive, dated) To render dull, insipid, or spiritless; to depress.
    • Barrow Passions are allayed, appetites are flatted.
etymology 2 From 1795, alteration of Scots flet, from Middle English flet, from Old English flet, flett, from Proto-Germanic *flatją, from Proto-Germanic *flataz, from Proto-Indo-European *plat-. Akin to ofs flet. More at flet, flat.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic, New England, now chiefly British) An apartment.
Synonyms: (apartment) apartment
  • falt
flat-chested Alternative forms: flatchested
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (idiomatic, of a girl or woman) Having a flat chest; having small breast.
flatfoot etymology flat + foot
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (chiefly, in the plural) A condition in which the arch of the foot makes contact with the ground
  2. A person having the above condition
  3. (colloquial, archaic, pejorative, law enforcement) (plural typically flatfoots) A policeman
Synonyms: (police officer) see
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of flatfoot
  2. (slang, dated, pejorative) More than one policeman
    • A dozen flatfoots cleaned the place out.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) A person who lives at low altitude - used by those living at higher altitudes
    • In and to the west of the , it refers to anyone from the East.
    • In the region, it refers to any outsider.
    • In northern central Pennsylvania, it refers to people southern Pennsylvania (particularly around Philadelphia) or from New Jersey.
    • In Vermont and northern New Hampshire, it refers to any non-native, but particularly one from southern New England (including Massachusetts), downstate New York, or New Jersey and carries the additional connotation of someone who has recently moved to the area and would prefer that the state change to better accommodate newcomers, rather than the other way around.
    • In the , it refers to someone from Wisconsin.
    • In , it refers to people from lower Michigan (those below Mt. Pleasant).
    • In lower Michigan, it refers to people from Indiana or Ohio.
    • In Wisconsin, it refers to someone from Illinois.
    • In Georgia, it refers to someone from Florida.
  2. (physics) An inhabitant of or observer in a universe with two spatial dimension.
    • 1978, Henry Wesley Grayson, The theory of relativity revisited: To the flatlander the third dimension necessarily appears to be a process, something he travels through as he moves or is shifted across an area. He cannot occupy more than one position in the third dimension simultaneously.
    • 1979, A Form of Pantomime, in Link, volume 21, part 3, page 86: The perceptual acts of the two-dimensional flatlander are seen by the projective Euclidean eyes as funny, [...]
    • 1991, Floyd Merrell, Unthinking thinking: Jorge Luis Borges, mathematics, and the new physics, page 232: For our omniscient Mathematician, on the other hand, the time dimension from the beginning to the end of the game would be copresent, as would be our gaze of a flatlander's world.
    • 2009, Frank Close, Nothing: a very short introduction, page 140: Earlier we gave the example of a plane taking off in the third dimension apparently disappearing from the view of a two-dimensional flatlander; analogously, particles appearing from the fifth dimension, or disappearing into it, could be a signal at the LHC that space-time is indeed, like Emmenthal cheese, permeated with little bubbles which are at the edge of our present abilities to measure.
  • (person who lives at low altitude) ridge-runner, highlander.
related terms:
  • flatland
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A person with whom one share a flat.
    • 2002, Elaine Lally, At Home with Computers, [http//|%22flatmates%22+flat+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ci1ST6mYNcWviQfu563aCw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flatmate%22|%22flatmates%22%20flat%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 149], Yet when both Regine and her flatmate are at home they tend to spend their time in their rooms, although Regine (and probably the flatmate too) tends to spend more time in the communal areas of the flat when the other is not at home.
    • 2007, C. N. Barton, The Cambridge Diaries: A Tale of Friendship, Love and Economics, [http//|%22flatmates%22+flat+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ci1ST6mYNcWviQfu563aCw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flatmate%22|%22flatmates%22%20flat%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 121], “So, it would probably [be] best if we could find another flatmate and go for a flat of five, and if old Chip does pull out, at least we can then drop down to a flat of four. What do you reckon?”
    • 2011, Ghada Osman, A Journey in Islamic Thought: The Life of Fathi Osman, [http//|%22flatmates%22+flat+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ci1ST6mYNcWviQfu563aCw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flatmate%22|%22flatmates%22%20flat%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 63], Kamal moved Fathi′s things into his own room, and the two became flatmates. The apartment in which Kamal lived was spacious, with several large rooms and various flatmates.
  2. (UK, NZ) A person with whom one shares a rental property, not necessarily a flat.
    • 1993, Beryl Fletcher, The Iron Mouth, [http//|%22flatmates%22+house+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JCdST96yGfCtiQf29sD2Cw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flatmate%22|%22flatmates%22%20house%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 190], It had been weeks since all the flatmates had sat down together for a meal. Communication was breaking down. Written notes had begun to appear all over the house; please don′t touch this food, I bought it especially for Hermione….
    • 2003, Jen Birch, Congratulations! It′s Asperger Syndrome, [http//|%22flatmates%22+house+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GSVST_3bJs3ImQWq5vW8Cg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flatmate%22|%22flatmates%22%20house%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 51], One night, one of the flatmates (the one who owned the house) was ranting and raving all night about her girlfriend.
    • 2007, CCH New Zealand, Top 100 Questions and Answers on Taxing Land Transactions, [http//|%22flatmates%22+house+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hyNST43PMeWhiAeGk_H2Cw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flatmate%22|%22flatmates%22%20house%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 97], The position may have been different when your client was living in the house with the flatmates.
flat store etymology {{rfe}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (gambling, slang) A crooked gambling establishment, such as a casino running rigged or fixed (dishonest) games of chance.'''“flat store”''', as which the primary '''“flat joint”''' is also known, listed [ on page 95] of '''Newspeak: A Dictionary of Jargon''' by Jonathon Green (1984; [ Routledge]; ISBN 0710096852 (10), ISBN 978-0710096852 (13))
    • 1962: Saul Bellow & Keith Botsford, The Noble Savage, p59 (World Pub. Co) He had told me that in the old days in Chicago he had run a flat-store with a partner who had tuberculosis and also smoked cigars.
    • 1998: Michael Maher & Jean-Francois Puget, Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming — CP98, p1 (Springer; ISBN 3540652248 (10), ISBN 978-3540652243 (13)) In shared-memory languages for parallel programming, the model is one of a global flat store equipped with various synchronization primitives.
    • 2000: Syngress Media, Inc, MCSE Windows 2000 Server Study Guide (exam 70–215), p75 (McGraw–Hill Professional; ISBN 0072123869 (10), ISBN 978-0072123869 (13)) The PDC uses the AD but exposes the data as a flat store, as in Windows NT.
    • 2001: Elizabeth A. Wheeler, Uncontained: Urban Fiction in Postwar America, p139 (The Rutgers University Press; ISBN 0813529735 (10), ISBN 978-0813529738 (13)); quoting an unknown source “It sat on the top of a steep, unpaved hill and commanded an uninspiring view of clean, gray concrete that was six lanes wide and an assortment of boxy, flat store buildings and spacious super gas-stations” (117).
    • 2004: Peter Golob, Crop Post-Harvest: Science and Technology Durables, p80 (Blackwell Publishing; ISBN 0632057246 (10), ISBN 978-0632057245 (13)) These systems are often cheaper to install than conventional horizontal ducting and have the advantage over above-floor ducts that they are unlikely to be damaged by tractors unloading the flat store.
Synonyms: flat joint
flatter pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 flat + er
noun: {{rfi}} {{en-noun}}
  1. A type of set tool used by blacksmith.
  2. A flat-faced fulling hammer.
  3. A drawplate with a narrow, rectangular orifice, for drawing flat strips such as watch springs.
  4. Someone who flattens, purposely or accidently. Also flattener.
  5. (British, NZ, slang) Someone who lives in a rented flat.
adjective: {{head}}
  1. en-comparative of flat
etymology 2 From Middle English flatteren, flateren, probably a conflation of Old English floterian, flotorian, from Proto-Germanic *flutrōną, from Proto-Indo-European *plewd-, *plew-, *plōw-; and Old Norse flaðra, from Proto-Germanic *flaþrōną, from Proto-Indo-European *peled-, *pel-. Cognate with Scots flatter, flotter, Middle Dutch flatteren, German flattern. The word was also associated with Middle French flatter, from Old French flater, from frk *, from Proto-Germanic *flatą, *flatō, *flataz, from Proto-Indo-European *plÁt-, *pele-, *plet-, *plāk-; related to Old High German flazza, Old High German flaz, osx flat, Old Norse flatr (whence English flat), ofs flet, Old English flet, flett. More at flat.
verb: {{en-verb}} (transitive and intransitive)
  1. to compliment someone, often insincerely and sometimes to win favour
    • Bible, Proverbs xxix. 5 A man that flattereth his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his feet.
    • Prescott Others he flattered by asking their advice.
  2. to enhance someone's vanity by praising them
  3. to portray something to advantage. Her portrait flatters her.
  4. to convey notions of the facts that are believed to be favorable to the hearer without certainty of the truthfulness of the notions conveyed.
related terms:
  • flattery
  • flatterer
flatterer etymology flatter + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One who flatter.
flattery etymology From Old French flaterie, from the verb flater
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) Excessive praise or approval, which is often insincere and sometimes contrived to win favour.
  2. (countable) An instance of excessive praise.
Synonyms: See also
related terms:
  • flatter
  • flattered
  • flattering
  • flat tyre
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. alternative form of flatty
  2. (informal) A flat white (type of coffee).
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of flatty
  2. (slang) A pair of flat shoes
flattop Alternative forms: flat top
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US) A short haircut in which the hair is brushed straight up then cut flat across the top.
    • 1959 Jerry Keller, "Here Comes Summer" (lyrics): Well school's not so bad but the summer's better Gives me more time to see my girl Walk through the park beneath the shiny moon Oh when we kiss she makes my flat top curl
  2. (US, informal) An aircraft carrier (origin attributed since 1942 to a laconic message, “Scratch one flattop,” radioed by LCDR Robert E. Dixon to USS Lexington, whose commanding officer credited the pilot with coining the standard USN slang)
flatty etymology flat + y
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (regional, slang) A flatfish
  2. (slang) Anything flat (a flat battery, a flat tire, flat terrain etc.)
  3. (archaic, US, slang) A policeman.
flat tyre Alternative forms: flat tire
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A tyre of a motor vehicle that is deflate, especially one deflated because of a puncture when in use.
  • flattery
flatulence {{wikipedia}} etymology From French flatulence, ultimately from Latin flō. pronunciation
  • /ˈflætʃələn(t)s/
  • {{hyphenation}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The state of having gas, often malodorous, trap (and often released, frequently with noise) in the digestive system of a human and some other animal; wind; and when released, a flatus, a fart.
  2. The release of such gas, farting.
coordinate terms:
  • queef
A formal Latinate term, used in medical and scientific discourse, but also euphemistically to avoid crude terms such as fart. Compare excrement.
related terms:
  • See also
  • afflatus
flatus {{wikipedia}} etymology Borrowed into English around 1660–1670;''' Unabridged''' (v 1·1) from Latin flātus, from flāre.The '''Concise Oxford English Dictionary''' [Eleventh Edition]'''The American Heritage<sup>®</sup> Dictionary of the English Language''', Fourth Edition pronunciation
  • Of the singular noun:
    • (UK)1 /ˈfleɪtəs/
    • (UK)2 /ˈflætəs/
    • {{rhymes}}
  • Of the plural noun:
    • (UK) /ˈflætuːs/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) Gas generated in the digestive tract.
  2. (countable) Expulsion of such gas through the anus.
  3. (obsolete) Morbid inflation or swelling.
    • 1730 April, , "A Vindication of the Lord Carteret", in Thomas Sheridan and John Nichols (Eds.), The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, Volume IX, J. Johnson &c. (1801), page 226, […] an incensed political surgeon, who is not in much renown for his mercy, upon great provocations: who, without waiting for his death, will flay and dissect him alive; and to the view of mankind lay open all the disordered cells of his brain, the venom of his tongue, the corruption of his heart, and spots and flatuses of his spleen: and all this for threepence.
  4. plural of flatus
    • 1940: Walter Robson Humphries, William Ogilvie and the Projected Union of the Colleges, 1786–1787, p70 The point of quoque with illos is that those flatus, which have the right to be called winds, are also subject to laws like the winds themselves.
    • 2006: Steve Nichols, TARO of the FOUR WORLDS, p139 (ISBN 1874603073) And as they perceived in her sundry natures, and divers properties, so they ascribed unto her divers and several names, and erected Statues and Altars unto her, according to those names, under which they then so worshipped and adored her, who (as I have already written) was with many taken and understood for Juno: and those flatus and images which were dedicated unto her, were made also many times of many other goddesses: whose properties signified them to be in nature the same as the earth, as first Lagran Madre, la Madre de i dei, Ope (Ops), Phes, Cibelle, Vesta, Ceres, Proserpina, and many others which of their places and habitations where they then remained, had their names accordingly, all signifying one & the same thing, being as I have said, the Earth, for which indeed, & from whose fruits, all things here in the world seem to receive their life and being, and are nourished & conserved by these fertileness thereof, and in this respect she was called the mother of the gods, insomuch, as all those gods of the Ancients, which were so superstitiously adored and held in that respective regardance, lived here once on the earth, and were fed and maintained by the increases, fruits, & suppeditaments thereof.
    • 2007: Harold John Cook, Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age, p373 (ISBN 9780300117967) A long summary of the work quickly appeared in the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions, which began with the theory Ten Rhijne’s had adapted from his Japanese colleagues: “This Author treating of the Gout, … asserts Flatus or Wind included between the Periosteum and the bone to be the genuine producer of those intolerable Pains … and that all the method of cure ought to tend toward the dispelling those Flatus”.156
Synonyms: (expulsion) fart (vulgar), flatulence., See also
  • faults
  • futsal
flat white {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, New Zealand) A type of white coffee made with espresso coffee and hot milk.
    • 2007, Michael Symons, One Continuous Picnic: A Gastronomic History of Australia, 2nd Edition, page 323, Coffee at Adelaide airport at 2 p.m., 9 July 2006. In all innocence, I prepared to judge carefully two flat whites. The Melbourne-based franchise chain Hudsons Coffee proclaimed a ‘formidable reputation for consistently making great cups of coffee’, but its airport outlet provided no evidence of this.
    • 2009, Michelle Douglas, The Aristocrat and the Single Mom, [http//|flat+whites%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zg5ST4Y50cqZBb3iiaoK&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flat%20white%22|flat%20whites%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 17], ‘Two flat whites, please,’ she said to the waiting Kelly. ‘In mugs.’
    • 2009, Colin McLaren, On the Run, [http//|flat+whites%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tBdST6XQEemwiQes14iYCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22flat%20white%22|flat%20whites%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 57], It was during this break that Cole realised that New Zealanders had no idea how to make coffee, serving up flat whites in cups the size of cereal bowls, and suggesting they were caffe lattes.
    • 2010, Elizabeth Martin, The Coffeeholic and the Cafe, page 111, My boss orders two flat whites. I′ve got to hand it to her, there′s no pretention about a flat white.
Synonyms: flattie (informal)
flavour {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: flavor (American spelling) etymology From Middle English meaning "smell, odor", usually pleasing, from Old French flaour, from vl flator, from Latin flator, from flo pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}} {{tcx}}
  1. The quality produced by the sensation of taste or, especially, of taste and smell in combined effect. The flavour of this apple pie is delicious.
  2. A substance used to produce a taste. Flavouring. Flavour was added to the pudding.
  3. A variety (of taste) attributed to an object. What flavour of bubble gum do you enjoy?
  4. The characteristic quality of something. the flavour of an experience
  5. (informal) A kind or type. Debian is one flavour of the Linux operating system.
  6. (physics) One of the six types of quark (top, bottom, strange, charm, up, and down) or three types of lepton (electron, muon, and tauon).
  7. (archaic) The quality produced by the sensation of smell; odour; fragrance. the flavour of a rose
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To add flavouring to something.
flax-stick Alternative forms: flax stick
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (New Zealand) The flowering stem of the New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax or Phormium cookianum).
    • 1869, W. Lauder Lindsay, On the Economical Value and Applications of the Leaf-Fibre of New Zealnd Flax (Phormium tenax, Forst.), The Journal of Botany, British and Foreign, Volume 7, page 46, Rafts, or canoes, or “catamarans,” are still occasionally improvised by travellers or explorers in primitive parts of New Zealand, e.g. by Haast, who reports constructing “catamarans” of dead trees when flax-sticks were not obtainable.
  2. (Australia, slang, obsolete) A New Zealander.
    • 1896, , His Country – After All, in While the Billy Boils, Gutenberg eBook #7144 “I always thought Australia was all good country,” mused the driver—a flax-stick.
fleabag Alternative forms: flea bag, flea-bag etymology flea + bag.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A bed or sleeping bag.
  2. (slang) A place of shabby lodging, particularly a filthy hotel or run-down apartment.
  3. (slang) An unkempt mammal. He's become a real fleabag recently. Time for a bath!
  4. (slang) A mammal whom the speaker dislikes. Get out of the way you fleabag!
flea bag
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A disreputable place of accommodation.
    • 1993, , in : I stayed in this hotel last year, I hated it, it's a flea bag.
  2. (slang) A dog.
flea pit
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A dilapidated building, stereotypically hosting a low-grade cinema.
    • 1964 Dylan Thomas - The Doctor and the Devils The Upland Cinema ("The Flea Pit") stood on the corner of The Grove, the street where he had been born.
    • 1970 Colm Luibhéid - All the Green Gold: an Irish boyhood The Regal is no longer there, but, when I was eight, nine, and ten it was a flea pit down beside the harbor.
    • 1980 Mervyn Thompson - All My Lives I remember going to the pictures at the local flea pit and seeing Riders of Death Valley, a serial in which I avidly #followed the fortunes of my hero Jim . . .
    • 2004 Keith Spratley - Provincial Eye: The Short Stories The term flea pit was not justified as the cinema turned out to be clean and well maintained.
  • lifetap
flee etymology From Old English flēon, from Proto-Germanic *fleuhaną, from Proto-Indo-European *plewk-, *plew-. pronunciation
  • /fliː/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{homophones}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To run away; to escape. exampleThe prisoner tried to flee, but was caught by the guards.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, [ “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days], Ep./4/2 , “As they turned into Hertford Street they startled a robin from the poet's head on a barren fountain, and he fled away with a cameo note.”
  2. (transitive) To escape from. exampleMany people fled the country as war loomed. exampleThousands of people moved northward trying to flee the drought.
  3. (intransitive) To disappear quickly; to vanish. exampleEthereal products flee once freely exposed to air.
related terms:
  • flight
  • feel
  • fele
fleek etymology A shortened form of on fleek.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang, AAVE, chiefly, describing eyebrows) alternative form of on fleek
flesh {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English flesh, from Old English flǣsc, from Proto-Germanic *flaiską, from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁ḱ- 〈*pleh₁ḱ-〉. Compare German Fleisch, Low German Fleesch, West Frisian fleis, Dutch vlees, Danish flæsk, Icelandic flesk. pronunciation
  • /flɛʃ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The soft tissue of the body, especially muscle and fat.
    • 1918, Fannie Farmer, , Chapter XVII: Poultry and Game: The flesh of chicken, fowl, and turkey has much shorter fibre than that of ruminating animals, and is not intermingled with fat,—the fat always being found in layers directly under the skin, and surrounding the intestines.
  2. The skin of a human or animal.
  3. (by extension) Bare arms, bare legs, bare torso.
  4. (archaic) Animal tissue regarded as food; meat.
    • {{RQ:Mlry MrtDrthr}}: Thenne syr launcelot sayd / fader what shalle I do / Now sayd the good man / I requyre yow take this hayre that was this holy mans and putte it nexte thy skynne / and it shalle preuaylle the gretely / syr and I wille doo hit sayd sir launcelot / Also I charge you that ye ete no flesshe as longe as ye be in the quest of the sancgreal / nor ye shalle drynke noo wyne / and that ye here masse dayly and ye may doo hit
    • c.1530s, , , , 7, xix-xxi, The flesh that twycheth any vnclene thinge shall not be eaten. but burnt with fire:and all that be clene in their flesh, maye eate flesh. Yf any soule eate of the flesh of the peaceofferynges, that pertayne vnto the Lorde and hys vnclennesse yet apon him, the same soule shall perisshe from amonge his peoole{{sic}}. ¶ Moreouer yf a soule twych any vnclene thinge, whether it be the vnclennesse of man or of any vnclene beest or any abhominacion that is vnclene: ad the eate of the flesh of the peaceoffrynges whiche pertayne vnto the Lord, that soule shall perissh from his people.
  5. The human body as a physical entity.
    • c.1530s, , , , 6, x, And the preast shall put on his lynen albe and his lynen breches apon his flesh, and take awaye the asshes whiche the fire of the burntsacrifice in the altare hath made, and put them besyde the alter,
  6. (religion) The mortal body of a human being, contrasted with the spirit or soul.
    • 1769, , Oxford Standard text, , 5, xvii, For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
    • 1929 January, Bassett Morgan (), , first published in Weird Tales, reprinted 1949, in , But death had no gift for me, no power to free me from flesh.
  7. (religion) The evil and corrupting principle working in man.
  8. The soft, often edible, parts of fruit or vegetable.
    • 2003, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest, page 81, The flesh of black walnuts was a protein-packed winter food carefully hoarded in tall, stilted buildings.
  9. (obsolete) Tenderness of feeling; gentleness.
    • Cowper There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart.
  10. (obsolete) Kindred; stock; race.
    • Bible, Genesis xxxvii. 27 He is our brother and our flesh.
  11. A yellow pink colour; the colour of some Caucasian human skin. {{color panel}}
Synonyms: See also
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To bury (something, especially a weapon) in flesh.
    • 1933, Robert E. Howard, The Scarlet Citadel Give me a clean sword and a clean foe to flesh it in.
  2. (obsolete) To inure or habituate someone in or to a given practice. {{defdate}}
    • {{RQ:Flr Mntgn Essays}}, II.7: And whosoever could now joyne us together, and eagerly flesh all our people to a common enterprise, we should make our ancient military name and chivalrous credit to flourish againe.
  3. To put flesh on; to fatten.
  4. To add details. The writer had to go back and flesh out the climactic scene.
  5. To remove the flesh from the skin during the making of leather.
  • shelf
fleshling etymology flesh + ling
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (fantasy, derogatory) A creature made of flesh; a human being.
fleshloaf Alternative forms: flesh loaf etymology flesh + loaf. Apparently derived from "pinching off a flesh loaf" (attested in 1999),13 October 1999, E*Borg [username], "[ A Day in the CF Life]",, ''[[w:Usenet|Usenet]]'' which likens childbirth to a bowel movement (pinch a loaf being slang for "to defecate").
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory) A baby.
Synonyms: See also .
  • {{seemoreCites}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete, humorous) A sycophant. Flatterers and flibbergibs. — Latimer.
{{Webster 1913}}
flic pronunciation
  • (UK) /flɪk/ {{rhymes}} {{homophone}}
etymology 1 From flick in the cinematographic sense.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (computing) A data file containing computer animation.
etymology 2 From French flic.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A French policeman.
flick pronunciation
  • /flɪk/
  • {{audio}} {{rhymes}} {{homophones}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A short, quick movement, especially a brush, sweep, or flip. He removed the speck of dust with a flick of his finger. She gave a disdainful flick of her hair and marched out of the room.
    • {{quote-news }}
  2. (informal) A motion picture; (in plural, usually preceded by "the") movie theater, cinema. My all-time favorite flick is "Gone with the Wind." Want to go to the flicks tonight?
  3. (fencing) A cut that lands with the point, often involving a whip of the foible of the blade to strike at a concealed target.
  4. (tennis) A powerful underarm volley shot.
    • {{quote-news }}
  5. The act of pressing a place on a touch screen device.
  6. A flitch. a flick of bacon
Synonyms: (short, quick movement) fillip (of the finger), (cinema) the picture
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To move or hit (something) with a short, quick motion. flick one's hair with a flick of the wrist to flick the dirt from boots
    • {{quote-news}} Using her hands like windshield wipers, she tried to flick snow away from her mouth. When she clawed at her chest and neck, the crumbs maddeningly slid back onto her face. She grew claustrophobic.
related terms:
  • flicker
flick off
verb: {{head}}
  1. (informal) To insult (someone) by showing them the back of one's fist with the middle finger extended.
  2. (vulgar, slang) To masturbate (a woman) by flicking her clitoris with one's finger or fingers.
Synonyms: (to insult) give someone the finger, flip off, flip the bird
  • The object of flick off is inserted between the component words, as in "flick someone off".
flicky etymology flick + y pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) Easily flick; thus, light and fast She got a new, flicky haircut.
    • {{quote-news}}
flid etymology thalidomide, a drug that caused birth defects.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang, derogatory, offensive) A stupid or physical uncoordinated person; a retard.
  • DILF
  • LDIF
flight attendant
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A member of the crew (staff) of an airplane who is responsible for the comfort and safety of its passenger.
  • The term flight attendant is somewhat less common than the older, gender-specific term stewardess, but is often preferred due to its gender-neutral nature. Another common approach is to treat steward (or, for clarity's sake, a construction such as air steward or flight steward) as a gender-neutral term.
Synonyms: steward
  • (female) air hostess, stewardess
  • cart tart (pejorative)
  • coffee moffie (South African slang)
  • (female) hostie (Australian slang)
  • (female) sky girl (slang)
  • trolley dolly (pejorative)
  • cabin crew
flimsy pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Likely to bend or break under pressure; weak, shaky, flexible, or fragile. He expected the flimsy structure to collapse at any moment.
    • Sheridan All the flimsy furniture of a country miss's brain.
  • robust
  • strong
  • sturdy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Thin typing paper used to make multiple copies.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 251: Smiley peered once more at the flimsy which he still clutched in his pudgy hand.
  2. (informal, in the plural) Skimpy underwear.
    • {{quote-news}}
Flip etymology Shortening of Filipino.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, chiefly, derogatory, ethnic slur) A Filipino; a person who is of Filipino background.
flip pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Alteration of earlier fillip, from Middle English filippen, an attenuated variation of Middle English flappen. Cognate with Dutch flappen, German flappen.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A maneuver which rotates an object end over end. We'll decide this on a flip of a coin. The diver did a couple of flips before landing in the pool.
  2. A complete change of direction, decision, movement etc.
  3. (US, slang) A slingshot.
    • 1986, George Scarbrough, A summer ago (page 123) He loaded his flip and took careful aim at what he considered to be Emily's most vulnerable spot …
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To throw (as in to turn over). You need to flip the pancake onto the other side.
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. (transitive) To put into a quick revolving motion through a snap of the thumb and index finger. If you can't decide which option to go for, flip a coin.
  3. (intransitive, slang) To go berserk or crazy. I'd flip if anyone broke my phone.
  4. To buy an asset (usually a house), improve it and sell it quickly for profit.
  5. (computing) To invert a bit (binary digit), changing it from 0 to 1 or from 1 to 0.
Synonyms: (to throw, to turn over) turn, turn over, (to put into a quick revolving motion) toss
etymology 2 Apparently a euphemism for fuck.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (UK, mildly, vulgar) used to express annoyance, especially when the speaker has made an error.
    • 1967, Peter Shaffer, Black comedy, including White lies: two plays Impossible. He's dining out and coming on here after. He can't be reached. / Oh, flip!
    • 2000, Susan McKay, Northern Protestants "Oh flip, don't come near this place," she said. It was dangerous. The Catholics had banners up on the Garvaghy Road saying, 'No Protestants here'.
Synonyms: damn
etymology 3 From flippant, by shortening.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (British, informal) Having the quality of playfulness, or lacking seriousness of purpose. I hate to be flip, but perhaps we could steal a Christmas tree.
  2. sarcastic
etymology 4 Compare English dialect flip.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A mixture of beer, spirit, etc., stirred and heated by a hot iron (a flip dog).
flip a bitch
verb: {{head}}
  1. (US, slang) To make a rapid and illegal U-turn. That's a cop up there! Flip a bitch and see if we can lose 'em.

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