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flack1

[flak]Slang.
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noun
  1. press agent.
  2. publicity.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to serve as a press agent or publicist: to flack for a new rock group.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to promote; publicize: to flack a new record.
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Origin of flack1

1935–40; said to be after Gene Flack, a movie publicity agent
Can be confusedflack flak

flack2

[flak]
noun
  1. flak.
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flak

or flack

[flak]
noun
  1. antiaircraft fire, especially as experienced by the crews of combat airplanes at which the fire is directed.
  2. criticism; hostile reaction; abuse: Such an unpopular decision is bound to draw a lot of flak from the press.
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Origin of flak

1935–40; < German Fl(ieger)a(bwehr)k(anone) antiaircraft gun, equivalent to Flieger aircraft (literally, flyer) + Abwehr defense + Kanone gun, cannon
Can be confusedflack flak
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

hardshipobjectionsorrowresentmentgriefinjusticeoutrageunhappinessentanglementsquabblebrouhahaquandaryspatstinkdistressdamagehollerrapafflictionbellyache

Examples from the Web for flack

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Get some of the servants to give you a description of him, and 'phone it through to Flack at the Yard.

    The Grell Mystery

    Frank Froest

  • "Well, I was in hopes I could show you something," Mr. Flack said.

    The Reverberator

    Henry James

  • "Well, he's a prince compared with Mr. Flack," Delia declared.

    The Reverberator

    Henry James

  • "Good-bye, Mr. Flack," said Francie, trying to gain ground from him.

    The Reverberator

    Henry James

  • Without Mr. Flack, at the cafes, he felt too much a non-consumer.

    The Reverberator

    Henry James


British Dictionary definitions for flack

flack1

noun
  1. mainly US and Canadian a press or publicity agent
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Word Origin

C20: of unknown origin

flack2

noun
  1. a variant spelling of flak
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flak

flack

noun
  1. anti-aircraft fire or artillery
  2. informal a great deal of adverse criticism
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Word Origin

C20: from German Fl (ieger) a (bwehr) k (anone), literally: aircraft defence gun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for flack

n.

"publicity or press agent," 1945, also as a verb by that year, said to have been coined in show biz magazine "Variety" (but this is not the first attested use), supposedly from name of Gene Flack, a movie agent, but influenced by flak. There was a Gene Flack who was an advertising executive in the U.S. during the 1940s, but he seems to have sold principally biscuits, not movies.

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flak

n.

1938, from German Flak, condensed from Fliegerabwehrkanone, literally "pilot warding-off cannon." Sense of "anti-aircraft fire" is 1940; metaphoric sense of "criticism" is c.1963 in American English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper