Definition of pancake in English:


Line breaks: pan|cake
Pronunciation: /ˈpankeɪk


  • 2 (also pancake make-up) [mass noun] Make-up consisting of a flat solid layer of compressed powder, used especially in the theatre.
    More example sentences
    • Apply layers of pancake make-up, in the style of kabuki theatre.
    • It is notable for her freckles, which were normally hidden from filmgoers under a layer of pancake make-up.
    • As a courtesy to the viewers, put several layers of heavy pancake make-up on.


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  • 1(With reference to an aircraft) make or cause to make a pancake landing: [no object]: the plane landed, pancaking down on the runway
    More example sentences
    • The pilot reported that he used his remaining airspeed to get over a seawall, stalled the airplane, and pancaked onto the runway.
    • In that case the pilot pulled a low altitude loop and pancaked, but he was able to eject in time.
    • Bounce the plane on one landing gear back into the air and pancake it onto the parallel runway.
  • 2 informal Flatten or become flattened: [with object]: Hurley’s car was pancaked
    More example sentences
    • Thousands streamed back last week to find entire areas flattened and their houses pancaked and pulverised.
    • Then the second building started pancaking down.
    • The whole building is constructed to pancake rather than spill everywhere.


(as) flat as a pancake

Completely flat: the land’s as flat as a pancake
More example sentences
  • A full 45 minutes' worth would crush you flat as a pancake.
  • Britain's urban house market may be flat as a pancake, but out in the smarter shires, it's a tale of two very different sorts of properties.
  • Being as how the fens are flat as a pancake, and the cathedral is a very big building on top of a medium-sized hill, it's pretty visible.


late Middle English: from pan1 + cake.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody