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[flak] /flæk/ Slang.
verb (used without object)
to serve as a press agent or publicist:
to flack for a new rock group.
verb (used with object)
to promote; publicize:
to flack a new record.
Origin of flack1
1935-40; said to be after Gene Flack, a movie publicity agent
Can be confused
flack, flak.


[flak] /flæk/
flak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for flack
  • flack resigned from the investigation the day after the vote.
  • They want to primary some rich guy in a suit who serves as a flack for the financial industry.
  • He was also a perpetual self-promoter who took flack for embellishing his exploits and hyping his accomplishments.
  • We also got a bit of flack on another occasion for including an attempt to do cladistics on sea monster reports.
  • We're all accustomed to catching flack for our work.
  • flack was permitted to replace her tub once she dropped her quest to install a whirlpool tub, which can leak, the board said.
  • In fact, they usually get flack for it, particularly in high-profile cases.
  • If anything, they probably catch flack from their colleagues for wasting time on public outreach.
  • Either way, you are going to get some flack about a political view here.
  • He made a tough life-changing, career-changing decision and took some flack for it.
British Dictionary definitions for flack


(mainly US & Canadian) a press or publicity agent
Word Origin
C20: of unknown origin


a variant spelling of flak


anti-aircraft fire or artillery
(informal) a great deal of adverse criticism
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for flack

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for flack



: The flack description is also worth quoting

  1. Publicity; public relations material; ballyhoo, hype: Mr Mogul's latest epic was preceded by wheeling galaxies of affecting flack (1940s+)
  2. (also flacker) A publicity person or press agent: something that would cause your basic, self-respecting flack to want to slit his throat/ ''He's shown steady improvement,'' said a medical flak

: his publishers, who flack it into a best seller/ He's not flakking for ulterior motives

[origin unknown; said to be fr the name of Gene Flack, a moving-picture publicity agent, and first used in the show-business paper Variety; probably influenced by flak]


v,v phr
  1. To fall asleep; lose consciousness
  2. To be tired or depressed
  3. To die (1950s+ Cool & beat talk)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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