Definition of flak in English:


(North American flack)


mass noun
  • 1Anti-aircraft fire.

    • ‘The crew could hear metallic pattering on their plane as the run in continued through heavier flak.’
    • ‘On one mission Harry and his crew were hit by anti-aircraft flak.’
    • ‘Coming at night, they dropped bombs and lost a few aircraft to flak.’
    • ‘Opposition was expected to be medium to heavy flak with possible fighter opposition.’
    • ‘For the moment my main concern was not Luftwaffe fighters, lights or flak.’
    • ‘They were sending volley after volley of flack at the bombers.’
    • ‘We went down to St. Vith and when I looked down all I saw was fire, smoke, and flak going in all directions.’
    • ‘The mission went well except for some inaccurate flak which didn't cause too much concern.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tail gunner sustained a serious wound to the knee from a piece of flak that had come from underneath.’
    • ‘Approximately 50 enemy aircraft were in the vicinity and the entire area was full of friendly flak.’
    • ‘Flight Officer Allen procured some exceptionally good shots in spite of intense flak.’
    • ‘Ninety percent of the missions flown drew flak and 20 percent received battle damage.’
    • ‘I did not see any enemy aircraft on the mission, just a lot of flak over Holland.’
    • ‘Yet wave upon wave of Royal Air Force bombers, engines humming gently, miraculously avoided the flak fired into the dark night sky.’
    • ‘As we left the English coast, a hail of flak went up from a ship in mid-Channel right where we were headed.’
    • ‘They were used to draw searchlights and flak away from these more vulnerable aircraft.’
    • ‘Unlike bomber crews, we could take violent evasive action to get out of accurate heavy flak.’
    • ‘This was the time when jaw and stomach muscles tensed awaiting enemy action either by flak or fighter.’
    1. 1.1 Strong criticism.
      ‘you must be strong enough to take the flak if things go wrong’
      • ‘No stranger to taking flak from a variety of critics, Elan has come for more unwelcome attention recently.’
      • ‘For all the recent flak, many Tories are in ridiculously high spirits.’
      • ‘These guys are not accountable to anyone, and we have been left to take the flak.’
      • ‘It wouldn't be the first time the industry was made to pick up the tab and take the flak for flawed political policies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We conservatives often take a lot of flak for being overly critical of the liberal viewpoint.’
      • ‘While Jimmy catches flack for acting too straight, he criticizes Isaac for dressing, talking and acting too street.’
      • ‘He steadfastly continued to take the flak for his players until two monumentally awful home defeats to Birmingham and Liverpool.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We know she let her drivers take the flak when they carried her, at speed, halfway across the South Island.’
      • ‘Now, I refuse to take the flak on that one, though it was a tough call.’
      • ‘As long as religious advocates are willing to take the flak, why should they be ruled out of public debate?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Heck, it can't even kill off a character in a TV serial without getting serious flack.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When he does stop, however, I hope there will be other civic-minded people willing to do the work and take the flak.’
      criticism, censure, disapproval, disapprobation, hostility, complaints
      View synonyms


1930s: from German, abbreviation of Fliegerabwehrkanone, literally ‘aviator-defence gun’.