- the part of an anchor that catches in the ground, especially the flat triangular piece at the end of each arm.
- a barb, or the barbed head, of a harpoon, spear, arrow, or the like.
- either half of the triangular tail of a whale.
- an accidental advantage; stroke of good luck: He got the job by a fluke.
- an accident or chance happening.
- an accidentally successful stroke, as in billiards.
- any of several American flounders of the genus Paralichthys, especially P. dentatus, found in the Atlantic Ocean.
- any of various other flatfishes.
- a trematode.
- Also called: flue a flat bladelike projection at the end of the arm of an anchor
- either of the two lobes of the tail of a whale or related animal
- Also called: flue the barb or barbed head of a harpoon, arrow, etc
- an accidental stroke of luck
- any chance happening
- (tr) to gain, make, or hit by a fluke
- any parasitic flatworm, such as the blood fluke and liver fluke, of the classes Monogenea and Digenea (formerly united in a single class Trematoda)
- another name for flounder 2 (def. 1)
“flat end of an arm of an anchor,” 1560s, perhaps from fluke (n.3) on resemblance of shape, or from Low German flügel “wing.” Meaning “whale’s tail” (in plural, flukes) is 1725.
“lucky stroke, chance hit,” 1857, originally a lucky shot at billiards, of uncertain origin.
“flatfish,” Old English floc “flatfish,” related to Old Norse floke “flatfish,” flak “disk, floe” (see flake (n.)). The parasite worm (1660s) so called from resemblance of shape.
- Either of the two flattened fins of a whale’s tail.
- See trematode.