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See also: Flock



  • (UK) IPA(key): /flɒk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /flɑk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒk

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English flok, from Old English flocc (flock, company, troop), from Proto-West Germanic *flokk, from Proto-Germanic *flukkaz (crowd, troop). Cognate with Middle Low German vlocke (crowd, flock), Danish flok (flock), Swedish flock (flock), Norwegian flokk (flock), Faroese flokkur (flock), Icelandic flokkur (flock, group). Related also to Norman fliotchet (flock, crowd), from Old Norse. Perhaps related to Old English folc (crowd, troop, band). More at folk.


flock (2) of sheep

flock (plural flocks)

  1. A number of birds together in a group, such as those gathered together for the purpose of migration.
  2. A large number of animals associated together in a group; commonly used of sheep, but (dated) also used for goats, farmed animals, and a wide variety of animals.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 170:
      He told his father, and said it would be just suitable work for him to run about fields and woods amongst the strawberry hills after a flock of hares, and now and then lie down and take a nap on some sunny hill.
  3. Those served by a particular pastor or shepherd.herd/flock
    • 1864, Alfred Tennyson, “Aylmer’s Field”, in Enoch Arden, &c., London: Edward Moxon & Co., [], →OCLC, page 83:
    • 1995, Green Key Books, God's Word to the Nations (John 10:16)[1]:
      I also have other sheep that are not from this pen. I must lead them. They, too, will respond to my voice. So they will be one flock with one shepherd.
  4. A large number of people.
    Synonym: congregation
  5. (Christianity) A religious congregation.
    Synonym: congregation

(large number of people):

Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


flock (third-person singular simple present flocks, present participle flocking, simple past and past participle flocked)

  1. (intransitive) To congregate in or head towards a place in large numbers.
    People flocked to the cinema to see the new film.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      What place the gods for our repose assigned.
      Friends daily flock; and scarce the kindly spring
      Began to clothe the ground
    • 2021 October 20, Mark Rand, “S&C: a line fit for tourists... and everyone?”, in RAIL, number 942, page 43:
      Given the poor state of the line's trains and schedules, it is remarkable that people flock to use or experience it in embarrassingly large numbers.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To flock to; to crowd.
    • 1609, John Taylor, Penniless Pilgrimage:
      Good fellows, trooping, flocked me so.
  3. To treat a pool with chemicals to remove suspended particles.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English flok (tuft of wool), from Old French floc (tuft of wool), from Late Latin floccus (tuft of wool), probably from Frankish *flokko (down, wool, flock), from Proto-Germanic *flukkōn-, *flukkan-, *fluksōn- (down, flock), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (hair, fibres, tuft). Cognate with Old High German flocko (down), Middle Dutch vlocke (flock), Norwegian dialectal flugsa (snowflake). Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian flokë (hair).


flock (countable and uncountable, plural flocks)

  1. Coarse tufts of wool or cotton used in bedding.
  2. A lock of wool or hair.
  3. Very fine sifted woollen refuse, especially that from shearing the nap of cloths, formerly used as a coating for wallpaper to give it a velvety or clothlike appearance; also, the dust of vegetable fibre used for a similar purpose.


flock (third-person singular simple present flocks, present participle flocking, simple past and past participle flocked)

  1. (transitive) To coat a surface with dense fibers or particles; especially, to create a dense arrangement of fibers with a desired nap.
    the sampling and elution advantages of flocked swabs versus spun swabs
  2. To cover a Christmas tree with artificial snow.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]



From Old Swedish flokker, flukker, from Old Norse flokkr, from Proto-Germanic *flukkaz. Cognate with Faroese flokkur, Icelandic flokkur, Norwegian flokk, and Danish flok.



flock c

  1. flock; a group of people or animals
  2. murder of crows


Declension of flock 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative flock flocken flockar flockarna
Genitive flocks flockens flockars flockarnas

Related terms[edit]