verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to let (liquid, gas, light, etc.) enter or escape: This camera leaks light.
to allow to become known, as information given out covertly: to leak the news of the ambassador's visit.


    take a leak, Slang: Vulgar. to urinate.

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. 2019

Related Words for take a leak

pee, tinkle, micturate, peepee

British Dictionary definitions for take a leak



  1. a crack, hole, etc, that allows the accidental escape or entrance of fluid, light, etc
  2. such escaping or entering fluid, light, etc
spring a leak to develop a leak
something resembling this in effecta leak in the defence system
the loss of current from an electrical conductor because of faulty insulation, etc
a disclosure, often intentional, of secret information
the act or an instance of leaking
a slang word for urinationSee urination


to enter or escape or allow to enter or escape through a crack, hole, etc
(when intr, often foll by out) to disclose (secret information), often intentionally, or (of secret information) to be disclosed
(intr) a slang word for urinate
Derived Formsleaker, noun

Word Origin for leak

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 take a leak



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]



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with take a leak

take a leak

Urinate, as in Excuse me, I've got to take a leak. [Vulgar slang; c. 1930]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.