or flack

[ flak ]
/ flæk /


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

Nearby words

  1. flaherty, robert joseph,
  2. flail,
  3. flail chest,
  4. flail joint,
  5. flair,
  6. flak jacket,
  7. flak suit,
  8. flake,
  9. flake out,
  10. flake tool

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for flak

British Dictionary definitions for flak



/ (flæk) /


anti-aircraft fire or artillery
informal a great deal of adverse criticism

Word Origin for flak

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 flak



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper