Meaning of flak in English:


Pronunciation /flak/

See synonyms for flak

Translate flak into Spanish


(also flack)
mass noun
  • 1Strong criticism.

    ‘you must be strong enough to take the flak if things go wrong’
    • ‘he has been getting flak from certain quarters lately for pointing this out’
    • ‘We conservatives often take a lot of flak for being overly critical of the liberal viewpoint.’
    • ‘And I just wanted to compliment Bill on speaking his mind, because I'm sure he gets a lot of flack and criticism for doing this.’
    • ‘One consequence is that ministers will have to take the flak, to accept that they will be blamed for faults, even when those are none of their making.’
    • ‘When he does stop, however, I hope there will be other civic-minded people willing to do the work and take the flak.’
    • ‘Now, I refuse to take the flak on that one, though it was a tough call.’
    • ‘It wouldn't be the first time the industry was made to pick up the tab and take the flak for flawed political policies.’
    • ‘It's the women who are at the forefront of all the bloodshed, it's the women who have to carry the can and take the flak.’
    • ‘These guys are not accountable to anyone, and we have been left to take the flak.’
    • ‘Do the police not realise that they would have to take the flak if some pedestrian happened to skid and fall on the rank pile?’
    • ‘He steadfastly continued to take the flak for his players until two monumentally awful home defeats to Birmingham and Liverpool.’
    • ‘As long as religious advocates are willing to take the flak, why should they be ruled out of public debate?’
    • ‘We know she let her drivers take the flak when they carried her, at speed, halfway across the South Island.’
    • ‘From a political point of view it would be more clever to withdraw it, take the flak and then forget about it.’
    • ‘The bus drivers take the flak from the customers for what is an expensive and inefficient bus service.’
    • ‘For all the recent flak, many Tories are in ridiculously high spirits.’
    • ‘Right now, the school board is reviewing the program, which has gotten flack from many students at Westminster who complain that it insults their integrity to assume they'd need to be paid to speak up.’
    • ‘Heck, it can't even kill off a character in a TV serial without getting serious flack.’
    • ‘No stranger to taking flak from a variety of critics, Elan has come for more unwelcome attention recently.’
    • ‘I have drawn severe flack from South African circles for criticising their Reserve Bank and for laying the blame for the Rand's demise at their door.’
    • ‘While Jimmy catches flack for acting too straight, he criticizes Isaac for dressing, talking and acting too street.’
    criticism, censure, disapproval, disapprobation, hostility, complaints
    View synonyms
  • 2Anti-aircraft fire.

    ‘Approximately 50 enemy aircraft were in the vicinity and the entire area was full of friendly flak.’
    • ‘We went down to St. Vith and when I looked down all I saw was fire, smoke, and flak going in all directions.’
    • ‘For the moment my main concern was not Luftwaffe fighters, lights or flak.’
    • ‘On one mission Harry and his crew were hit by anti-aircraft flak.’
    • ‘This was the time when jaw and stomach muscles tensed awaiting enemy action either by flak or fighter.’
    • ‘Opposition was expected to be medium to heavy flak with possible fighter opposition.’
    • ‘Coming at night, they dropped bombs and lost a few aircraft to flak.’
    • ‘During the bomb run, a piece of flak the size of a small baseball came through the radar set and struck the Lieutenant in the stomach.’
    • ‘Ninety percent of the missions flown drew flak and 20 percent received battle damage.’
    • ‘Flight Officer Allen procured some exceptionally good shots in spite of intense flak.’
    • ‘As we left the English coast, a hail of flak went up from a ship in mid-Channel right where we were headed.’
    • ‘I did not see any enemy aircraft on the mission, just a lot of flak over Holland.’
    • ‘Unlike bomber crews, we could take violent evasive action to get out of accurate heavy flak.’
    • ‘The mission went well except for some inaccurate flak which didn't cause too much concern.’
    • ‘The tail gunner sustained a serious wound to the knee from a piece of flak that had come from underneath.’
    • ‘They were used to draw searchlights and flak away from these more vulnerable aircraft.’
    • ‘The crew could hear metallic pattering on their plane as the run in continued through heavier flak.’
    • ‘They were sending volley after volley of flack at the bombers.’
    • ‘In fact, as soon as you cross the border into the Netherlands, you run into a curtain of flak and a few squadrons of fighters.’
    • ‘Yet wave upon wave of Royal Air Force bombers, engines humming gently, miraculously avoided the flak fired into the dark night sky.’


1930s (in flak (sense 2)): from German, abbreviation of Fliegerabwehrkanone, literally ‘aviator-defence gun’.