Definition of pancake in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpankeɪk/


1A thin, flat cake of batter, fried on both sides in a pan and typically rolled up with a sweet or savoury filling: crispy pancakes filled with cheese [as modifier]: pancake batter
More example sentences
  • I cook risotto and cakes, puddings and pancakes.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter to form 36 pancakes and reserve.
  • Those that wisely left room for dessert can sample the variety of delicious ice cream cakes, or choose a pancake with a sweet filling of their choice.
crêpe, drop scone, galette, waffle, griddle cake, batter cake, flannel cake;
North American  flapjack, slapjack;
Russian blini;
Mexican  tortilla, tostada;
Indian  chapatti, dosa;
Jewish  latke, blintze
2 (also pancake make-up) [mass noun] Make-up consisting of a flat solid layer of compressed powder, used especially in the theatre.
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.


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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pan|cake

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