• synonyms


  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for flacking


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

C20: of unknown origin


  1. a variant spelling of flak
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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 flacking



"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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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper