1. The flat, triangular piece at the end of an arm of an anchor.
2. A barb or barbed head on a harpoon, arrow, etc.
3. Either of the two lobes of a whale’s tail.
Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1561.
“There are very, very sharp indents. They almost look like the fluke of an anchor might have done it.”
With Surf and Oil Up, California Closes Beaches; The Washington Post; Feb 11, 1990.
“Ice sculptors carved a throne resembling the fluke of a whale descending into the water.”
Bryan Boyhan; HarborFrost a Success; The Sag Harbor Express (New York); Feb 6, 2011.
noun: A chance occurrence, especially a stroke of good luck.
Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1857.
“It wasn’t a fluke. We have been working hard on it.”
Robert Craddock; Reds Coach Ewen McKenzie; The Courier-Mail (Australia); Feb 2, 2011.
1. A flatfish, especially a flounder of the genus Paralichthys.
2. A trematode: a type of flatworm.
From Old English floc. Ultimately from the Indo-European root plak- (flat), which is also the source of flake, flaw, placenta, and supple. Earliest documented use: Before 700.
“Angler Keith Budd caught this 28″, 7-pound fluke.”
Dave Monti; Fluke Fishing Tips and Rigs; Warwick Beacon (Rhode Island); May 28, 2010.
Explore “fluke” in the Visual Thesaurus.