snowflake

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See also: snow-flake

English[edit]

A snowflake (crystal of frozen water)
A snowflake (flower)
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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From snow +‎ flake[1]. Compare Saterland Frisian Sneeflokke (snowflake).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

snowflake (plural snowflakes)

  1. A crystal of snow, having approximate hexagonal symmetry.[1]
  2. Any of several bulbous European plants, of the genus Leucojum, having white flowers.[1]
  3. The snow bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis.[1]
  4. (slang, pejorative) Someone who believes they are as unique and special as a snowflake; someone hypersensitive to insult or offense, especially a young person with politically correct sensibilities.
    • 1996, Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club:
      You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same organic and decaying matter as everyone else.
    • 2016, Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian, 28 November:
      It’s particularly effective given that there’s really no comeback to it: in calling someone a snowflake, you are not just shutting down their opinion, but telling them off for being offended that you are doing so.
    • 2017, 25 April, Couple charged in shooting of protester at Milo Yiannopoulos event in Seattle (in The Guardian)
      Marc Hokoana messaged a friend on Facebook the day before Yiannopoulos was scheduled to talk and said he “can’t wait for tomorrow”, according to police officials. In the Facebook message, obtained by a search warrant, he wrote: “I’m going to the Milo event and if the snowflakes get out off[sic] hand I’m just going to wade through their ranks and start cracking skulls.”
  5. Someone (usually white) who was opposed to the abolition of slavery (Missouri, 1860's) [2]
  6. (opthalmology) A type of lesion that appears as scattered white-brown spots under high magnification light microscopy.
    • 2007, Kenneth W. Wright, ‎Peter H. Spiegel, & ‎Lisa Thompson, Handbook of Pediatric Retinal Disease, ISBN 0387279334, page 195:
      Robertson and colleagues reported 10 patients in four families with lesions similar to those of stage I and stage II snowflake generation.
    • 2010, Roger F. Steinert, Cataract Surgery, ISBN 1416032258, page 525:
      The authors have recently analyzed a PMMA lens explanted because of snowflake degeneration in the dry and hydrated states.
    • 2011, Elias I. Traboulsi, Genetic Diseases of the Eye, ISBN 0199716978, page 520:
      These defects may be more pronounced in the superior visual field, perhaps corresponding to the inferior predilection for the snowflake lesions.
  7. Something that is unique in every presentation.
    • 2016 July 14, Sara Schabe and Krysten Massa, “North Fork native begins stem cell treatment to battle MS”, in Suffolk Times:
      MS is referred to as a “snowflake” disease because symptoms vary from person to person.
  8. (slang, usually derogative) A Caucasian person.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

snowflake (third-person singular simple present snowflakes, present participle snowflaking, simple past and past participle snowflaked)

  1. (computing, databases) To arrange (data) into a snowflake schema.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 snowflake” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd Ed.; 1989]
  2. ^ The lost history of 'snowflake'” from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Anagrams[edit]