variants or less commonly flack
plural flak also flack
: antiaircraft guns
: the bursting shells fired from flak
: 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 Miller never backed off his statement and caught flak for it. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 1 Apr. 2024 Democratic Senator Joe Manchin got a lot of flak for tanking the family provisions of Build Back Better — including a tax credit proven to keep millions of children out of poverty — but not a single Republican member of Congress supported them either. Kathryn Anne Edwards, The Mercury News, 23 Mar. 2024 Bass has taken some flak, particularly online, for not taking a similar stand. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2023 Kimmel, set to emcee the upcoming Academy Awards for the fourth time, addressed the flak Koy received at the ceremony in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 4 Mar. 2024 California Your guide to the L.A. County district attorney race: 11 candidates aim to unseat Gascón Feb. 1, 2024 Sentencing Enhancements Gascón has taken flak for many of his reform-minded policies, with his heavy limitations on the filing of sentencing enhancements chief among them. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2024 The British government’s inquiry is still ongoing, and some politicians have come in for a lot of flak. Rob Reddick, WIRED, 28 Feb. 2024 Struck by antiaircraft flak, two of the plane’s four engines lost power as Mr. Spiegel reversed course to return to England. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Summit has taken flak for using eminent domain laws to condemn and seize rights of way for their pipeline path. Christopher Helman, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flak.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flak was in 1938

Dictionary Entries Near flak

Cite this Entry

“Flak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flak. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also flack
plural flak also flack
: antiaircraft guns or the bursting shells fired from them
: severe criticism

derived from the German word for "antiaircraft guns," from the first letters of Flieger "flier" and Abwehr "defense" and Kanonen "cannons"

More from Merriam-Webster on flak

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