\ 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

Now less than three weeks before the first Democratic presidential debates, Joe Biden is taking flak from all directions. NBC News, "Democratic rivals pile on Biden," 6 June 2019 Republican leaders in Congress took flak in 2015 for agreeing to extend green-energy subsidies for a few years in return for Barack Obama’s signature on a statutory end to the 40-year-old export ban. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Oil Export Boom," 30 Aug. 2018 The world's most expensive player, who battled back from a broken bone in his foot to be fit for Russia, took plenty of flak despite scoring in the 2-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday. Justin Davis, chicagotribune.com, "Germany, Brazil, Mexico play for their World Cup lives in group stage finale," 27 June 2018 Ivanka Trump has caught a lot of flak for refusing to speak out about controversial issues like family separation, despite positioning herself as a champion for women and children. Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen Had a Lot to Say About Ivanka Trump’s ‘Lack of Empathy’," 11 Apr. 2019 Critics praised the show’s design, but the DC production caught flak for bawdy humor that wasn’t family-friendly. Elysa Gardner, Town & Country, "How Beetlejuice Got to Broadway," 12 Mar. 2019 Billy Corgan, leader of the Smashing Pumpkins, has been catching flak among gearheads on the internet recently for purporting that paint color affects the sound of guitars. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "Can Guitar Paint Affect Your Tone?," 31 Dec. 2018 Benitez’s firefighting bomb proposal is a bold one and bound to take some flak. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Should the U.S. Air Force Bomb Forest Fires?," 8 Aug. 2018 It should be pointed out that while Rita Ora caught a lot of flak for lip-syncing during the parade, not singing live is in fact the norm. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Kelly Clarkson Nailed Her Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Performance," 22 Nov. 2018

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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More Definitions for flak



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

Comments on flak

What made you want to look up flak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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