Flock - Encyclopedia




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FLOCK. I. (A word found in Old English and Old Norwegian, from which come the Danish and Swedish words, and not in other Teutonic languages), originally a company of people, now mainly, except in figurative usages, of certain animals when gathered together for feeding or moving from place to place. For birds it is chiefly used of geese; and for other animals most generally of sheep and goats. It is from the particular application of the word to sheep that "flock" is used of the Christian Church in its relation to the "Good Shepherd," and also of a congregation of worshippers in its relation to its spiritual head.

2. (Probably from the Lat. floccus, but many Teutonic languages have the same word in various forms), a tuft of wool, cotton or similar substance. The name "flock" is given to a material formed of wool or cotton refuse, or of shreds of old woollen or cotton rags, torn by a machine known as a "devil." This material is used for stuffing mattresses or pillows, and also in upholstery. The name is also applied to a special kind of wall-paper, which has an appearance almost like cloth, or, in the more expensive kinds, of velvet. It is made by dusting on a specially prepared adhesive surface finely powdered fibres of cotton or silk. The word "flocculent" is used of many substances which have a fleecy or "flock"-like appearance, such as a precipitate of ferric hydrate.

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