eccentric vs flake what difference

what is difference between eccentric and flake


Alternative forms

  • eccentrick (obsolete)
  • excentric
  • excentrick (obsolete)


From Middle French excentrique, from Medieval Latin excentricus, from Ancient Greek ἔκκεντρος (ékkentros, not having the earth as the center of an orbit), from ἐκ (ek, out) + κέντρον (kéntron, point). Equivalent to ex- +‎ -centric.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪkˈsɛntɹɪk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɛkˈsɛntɹɪk/


eccentric (comparative more eccentric, superlative most eccentric)

  1. Not at or in the centre; away from the centre.
    • 2011, Michael Laver, Ernest Sergenti. Party Competition: An Agent-Based Model, page 125,
      Strikingly, we see that party births tend systematically to be at policy positions that are significantly more eccentric than those of surviving parties, whatever decision rule these parties use.
  2. Not perfectly circular; elliptical.
    As of 2008, Margaret had the most eccentric orbit of any moon in the solar system, though Nereid’s mean eccentricity is greater.
  3. Having a different center; not concentric.
  4. (of a person) Deviating from the norm; behaving unexpectedly or differently; unconventional and slightly strange.
    • 1801, Author not named, Fyfield (John), entry in Eccentric Biography; Or, Sketches of Remarkable Characters, Ancient and Modern, page 127,
      He was a man of a most eccentric turn of mind, and great singularity of conduct.
    • 1807, G. H. Wilson (editor), The Eccentric Mirror, Volume 3, page 17,
      Such is not the case with Mr. Martin Van Butchell, one of the most eccentric characters to be found in the British metropolis, and a gentleman of indisputable science and abilities, but whose strange humors and extraordinary habits, have rather tended to obscure than to display the talents he possessed.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture I:
      There can be no doubt that as a matter of fact a religious life, exclusively pursued, does tend to make the person exceptional and eccentric.
    • 1956, Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, 2012, unnumbered page,
      Khedron was the only other person in the city who could be called eccentric—and even his eccentricity had been planned by the designers of Diaspar.
  5. (physiology, of a motion) Against or in the opposite direction of contraction of a muscle (e.g., such as results from flexion of the lower arm (bending of the elbow joint) by an external force while contracting the triceps and other elbow extensor muscles to control that movement; opening of the jaw while flexing the masseter).
  6. Having different goals or motives.
    • a. 1626, Francis Bacon, 1867, Richard Whately (analysis and notes), James R. Boyd (editor), Essay XI: Wisdom for a Man’s Self, Lord Bacon’s Essays, page 171,
      [] for whatsoever affairs pass such a man’s hands he crooketh them to his own ends, which must needs be often eccentric to those of his master or state: []

Usage notes

  • (physiology, of motion): Motions that are eccentric or the opposite (concentric) are classified as isotonic (having equal tension), the antonym of which is isometric (retaining equal length). See also Isometric exercise on Wikipedia.Wikipedia .


  • (not at or in the centre): eccentrical, excentrical
  • (not perfectly circular): eccentrical, excentrical
  • (having a different centre): eccentrical, excentrical
  • (deviating from the norm): eccentrical, excentrical, odd, abnormal; see also Thesaurus:eccentric
  • (against the contraction of a muscle):
  • (having different goals or motives): eccentrical, excentrical


  • (against the contraction of a muscle): concentric

Derived terms

  • eccentrically
  • eccentric anomaly
  • eccentric contraction
  • eccentric flint
  • eccentric hypertrophy

Related terms

  • central
  • centric
  • eccentricity



eccentric (plural eccentrics)

  1. One who does not behave like others.
    • 1989, Jeffrey Robinson, Rainier and Grace, page 26:
      A tiny, feisty woman who always spoke her mind, Charlotte was an eccentric in the wonderful way that some women from the last century were natural eccentrics.
    • 1998, Michael Gross, Life On The Edge, 2001, page ix,
      Eccentrics live longer, happier, and healthier lives than conformist normal citizens, according to the neuropsychologist David Weeks.
  2. (slang) A kook; a person of bizarre habits or beliefs.
  3. (geometry) A circle not having the same centre as another.
  4. (engineering) A disk or wheel with its axis off centre, giving a reciprocating motion.


  • (person who does not behave like others): misfit, nonconformist; see also Thesaurus:maverick
  • (person of bizarre habits or beliefs): crank, odd duck, weirdo; see also Thesaurus:strange person


See also

  • acentric



  • (UK) IPA(key): /fleɪk/
  • Hyphenation: flake
  • Rhymes: -eɪk

Etymology 1

From Middle English flake (a flake of snow), from Old English flacca and/or Old Norse flak (loose or torn piece) (compare Old Norse flakna (to flake or chip)), from Proto-Germanic *flaką (something flat), from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂- (flat, broad, plain). Cognate with Norwegian flak (slice, sliver, literally piece torn off), Swedish flak (a thin slice), Danish flage (flake), German Flocke (flake), Dutch vlak (smooth surface, plain) and vlok (flake), Latin plaga (flat surface, district, region). Doublet of plage.


flake (plural flakes)

  1. A loose filmy mass or a thin chiplike layer of anything
    • 1971, Leonard Cohen, “Famous Blue Raincoat”:
      And you treated my woman to a flake of your life. And when she came back she was nobody’s wife.
  2. A scale of a fish or similar animal
  3. (archaeology) A prehistoric tool chipped out of stone.
  4. (informal) A person who is impractical, flighty, unreliable, or inconsistent; especially with maintaining a living.
  5. A carnation with only two colours in the flower, the petals having large stripes.
  6. A flat turn or tier of rope.
    • 1634, Nathaniel Boteler, Boteler’s Dialogues:
      Admiral: What mean you by flakes?
      Captain: They are only those several circles or rounds of the roapes or cables, that are quoiled up round.
    • 1944, Clifford W. Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots, Doubleday, pages 516-517:
      A flake is the sailor’s term for a turn in an ordinary coil, or for a complete tier in a flat coil, as a French or Flemish flake. The current dictionary form of the word is fake, a word that I have never heard used with this meaning.
      A Flemish flake is a spiral coil of one layer only.
  7. (US, law enforcement, slang) A corrupt arrest, e.g. to extort money for release or merely to fulfil a quota.
    • 1973, Knapp Commission, ‎New York, The Knapp Commission Report on Police Corruption (page 83)
      When police decided to score gamblers, they would most often flake people with gambling slips, then demand $25 or $50 for not arresting them. Other times, they would simply threaten a flake and demand money.
Derived terms
  • cornflake
  • snowflake


flake (third-person singular simple present flakes, present participle flaking, simple past and past participle flaked)

  1. To break or chip off in a flake.
  2. (colloquial) To prove unreliable or impractical; to abandon or desert, to fail to follow through.
  3. (technical) To store an item such as rope or sail in layers
  4. (Ireland, slang) To hit (another person).
  5. (US, law enforcement, slang) To plant evidence to facilitate a corrupt arrest.
    • 1973, Knapp Commission, ‎New York, The Knapp Commission Report on Police Corruption (page 83)
      When police decided to score gamblers, they would most often flake people with gambling slips, then demand $25 or $50 for not arresting them. Other times, they would simply threaten a flake and demand money.
Derived terms
  • beflake
  • flake off
  • flake out

Etymology 2

A name given to dogfish to improve its marketability as a food, perhaps from etymology 1.


flake (uncountable)

  1. (Britain) Dogfish.
  2. (Australia) The meat of the gummy shark.
    • 1999, R. Shotton, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 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’.

Etymology 3

Compare Icelandic flaki?, fleki?, Danish flage, Dutch vlaak.


flake (plural flakes)

  1. (Britain, dialect) A paling; a hurdle.
  2. A platform of hurdles, or small sticks made fast or interwoven, supported by stanchions, for drying codfish and other things.
  3. (nautical) A small stage hung over a vessel’s side, for workmen to stand on while calking, etc.
  4. (nautical) Alternative form of fake (turn or coil of cable or hawser)
    • 1898, 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.


  • flake in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.


  • fleak

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