\ ˈflak How to pronounce flak (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
plural flak also flack

Definition of flak

1 : antiaircraft guns
2 : the bursting shells fired from flak
3 : criticism, opposition She has taken a good deal of flak for espousing that view.— E. J. Kahn, Jr. When I was a restaurant bar manager I sometimes found myself taking flak from my customers for our high prices …— Rob Hill

Examples of flak in a Sentence

He caught heavy flak for his decision to oppose the new school. He took a lot of flak from the other kids for his unusual appearance.
Recent Examples on the Web Even as South Korea grappled with a big outbreak in February and Hong Kong drew flak for moving too slowly to fully shut its border with China, the city-state garnered praise for its quick response and sophisticated contact tracing. Feliz Solomon, WSJ, "Singapore Had a Coveted Coronavirus Plan. What Went Wrong?," 21 Apr. 2020 The app, launched on April 2, drew flak for risking user data. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "The Indian government fixes privacy flaws in its coronavirus app," 16 Apr. 2020 The incident marks the most recent instance of college professors drawing flak for their commentary on current events, particularly as questions of academic freedom and free speech play out in an increasingly volatile era of politics and policy. Washington Post, "Professor who jokingly said Iran should list 52 U.S. cultural sites to bomb has been fired," 10 Jan. 2020 The job portfolio of George Osborne also draws flak. The Economist, "Cheer up, sacked MPs. A big payday awaits," 12 Dec. 2019 While the new voting changes appear to be addressing last year's criticism, Dancing With the Stars has been drawing flak for another reason. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Carrie Ann Inaba Feels "Nauseous" About the 2019 'Dancing With the Stars' Voting System," 30 Sep. 2019 Still, much like the Red Sox this week, Mack took a great deal of flak for selling off Foxx and several other stars in the 1930s. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "Mookie Betts Deal Offers Painful Reminders of Boston’s Past," 10 Feb. 2020 Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg received a lot of flak at the Feb. 19 Democratic debate for his refusal to release employees who sued his company from nondisclosure agreements. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "Nondisclosure and secrecy laws protect Bloomberg – not the women who sued him," 25 Feb. 2020 One of these B-24s, which were four-engine planes, was over Iwo Jima when it was hit simultaneously with a fighter plane, machine guns, and flak. Willing Davidson, The New Yorker, "Baseball, Fiction, and Life: Roger Angell’s Era-Spanning Career at The New Yorker," 16 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flak.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flak

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flak

German, from Fliegerabwehrkanonen, from Flieger flyer + Abwehr defense + Kanonen cannons

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Statistics for flak

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flak. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for flak


How to pronounce flak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flak

: exploding shells that are shot at enemy aircraft from guns on the ground
informal : harsh criticism

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More from Merriam-Webster on flak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flak

Spanish Central: Translation of flak

Nglish: Translation of flak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flak for Arabic Speakers

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