flake off

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flake off

1. To fall or break away (from something) in small bits or fragments. Ugh, look at all the glitter that flaked off my birthday cards. A bunch of paint has flaked off the outside of the house. I think it's about time to repaint it.
2. To cause something to fall from something else in small bits or pieces. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is usually used between "flake" and "off." Hey, stop touching the wall—you're flaking the paint off it!
3. slang To ignore a planned event or responsibility, often to do something frivolous instead. I flaked off class this afternoon and went to the mall instead.
See also: flake, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

flake off (of) something

[for bits of something] to break away from the whole, perhaps under pressure or because of damage. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Little bits of marble began to flake off the marble steps. Bits flaked off from the whole.
See also: flake, off

flake something off of something

 and flake something off
to make bits or flakes break off from the whole. The sculptor flaked bits of stone off the block, but you could not yet see what the block was going to become. She flaked off a little more.
See also: flake, of, off
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

flake off

1. To break away from a surface in small, flat pieces: Rust is flaking off of the old pipes. Paint chips are flaking off from the ceiling.
2. Slang To fail to do something out of lack of interest; blow something off: Last night I flaked off doing the dishes because I was tired.
See also: flake, off
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
QMY front brick wall is painted red, but I have to repaint it every couple of years as it flakes off. Can you recommend any products to stop this happening?
New York City police said the thief who grabbed an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes off of an armored truck in Manhattan Sept.
QI HAVE galvanised metal garage doors and have tried all kinds of primer, undercoats and top coats, but each summer the paint just blisters and flakes off. Any suggestions as to what I can do would be welcome.
Each summer it just blisters and flakes off. I've just burnt the paint off, ready to try again.
The firm initially suggested the components were prone to malfunction if paint flakes off and allows the metal to rust, eventually causing the secondary latch to become stuck in the open position.
Upon cooling, the molten ash forms a brittle glass that flakes off, taking the coating with it.
These hostage scenario-style Dirty Bird targets are designed with a coating that flakes off upon bullet impact to reveal a chartreuse color, designating a good hit, or white, indicating a poor hit.
A simple measurement using a Fischer hand held gauge will identify the correct stock, show if heat treatment has been performed well and explain why the anodising is the wrong colour or why the plating or paint flakes off.
Although the spots were originally identified in 1997, Mr Wain said: 'When the blood dries it flakes off the surface and exposes what is inside them.
Shoot-N-C targets feature a special black coating that flakes off during impact, leaving a bright yellow ring around each bullet hole on the target.
Shoot-N-C targets feature a black coating that flakes off upon impact, leaving a bright yellow ring around bullet holes.
A second man smiles and describes the stone strips, or flakes, that he's pounding from a blade as "peeling off like sweet potato skin." A third experienced adze maker talks excitedly of wanting to slice flakes off "every stone in the river."
The stencil material then flakes off during shakeout, leaving the code intact and destroying the stencil to prevent the creation of counterfeit barcodes.
When we make animals from waxy milk cartons, tempera paint often flakes off after they've been painted.
Its non-flaking property, for example, is reportedly vital to long-lasting EMI/RFI shielding, because if an internal coating of an electronic enclosure flakes off, the copper particles may interfere with electronic components and circuitry.