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leak

[leek]
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noun
  1. an unintended hole, crack, or the like, through which liquid, gas, light, etc., enters or escapes: a leak in the roof.
  2. an act or instance of leaking.
  3. any means of unintended entrance or escape.
  4. Electricity. the loss of current from a conductor, usually resulting from poor insulation.
  5. a disclosure of secret, especially official, information, as to the news media, by an unnamed source.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to let a liquid, gas, light, etc., enter or escape, as through an unintended hole or crack: The boat leaks.
  2. to pass in or out in this manner, as liquid, gas, or light: gas leaking from a pipe.
  3. to become known unintentionally (usually followed by out): The news leaked out.
  4. to disclose secret, especially official, information anonymously, as to the news media: The official revealed that he had leaked to the press in the hope of saving his own reputation.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to let (liquid, gas, light, etc.) enter or escape: This camera leaks light.
  2. to allow to become known, as information given out covertly: to leak the news of the ambassador's visit.
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Idioms
  1. take a leak, Slang: Vulgar. to urinate.
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Origin of leak

1375–1425; 1955–60 for def 11; late Middle English leken < Old Norse leka to drip, leak; akin to Dutch lek, obsolete German lech leaky. See leach1
Related formsleak·er, nounleak·less, adjectivenon·leak·ing, adjective
Can be confusedleak leek
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for leak

leak

noun
    1. a crack, hole, etc, that allows the accidental escape or entrance of fluid, light, etc
    2. such escaping or entering fluid, light, etc
  1. spring a leak to develop a leak
  2. something resembling this in effecta leak in the defence system
  3. the loss of current from an electrical conductor because of faulty insulation, etc
  4. a disclosure, often intentional, of secret information
  5. the act or an instance of leaking
  6. a slang word for urinationSee urination
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verb
  1. to enter or escape or allow to enter or escape through a crack, hole, etc
  2. (when intr, often foll by out) to disclose (secret information), often intentionally, or (of secret information) to be disclosed
  3. (intr) a slang word for urinate
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Derived Formsleaker, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse leka to drip
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 leak

v.

"to let water in or out" [Johnson], late 14c., from Middle Dutch leken "to drip, to leak," or from Old Norse leka, both of them related to Old English leccan "to moisten" (which did not survive into Middle English), all from Proto-Germanic *lek- "deficiency" (cf. Old High German lecchen "to become dry," German lechzen "to be parched with thirst"), from PIE root *leg- "to dribble, trickle." The figurative meaning "come to be known in spite of efforts at concealment" dates from at least 1832; transitive sense first recorded 1859. Related: Leaked; leaking.

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n.

late 15c., from leak (v.) or Old Norse cognate leki. Sense of "revelation of secret information" is from 1950. Meaning "act of urination" is attested from 1934 ("Tropic of Cancer"); but the verb meaning "to piss" is from 1590s: "Why, you will allow vs ne're a Iourden, and then we leake in your Chimney." ["I Hen. IV," II.i.22]

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper