flack

If someone gives you flack about wearing shorts in the winter, tell them to chill out. Flack is a criticism. Flack also refers to anti-aircraft guns, and then sometimes it’s spelled flak.

Flack as a criticism comes from the military sense, as it feels like an attack. A flack (or flak) jacket will protect your body from projectiles, but it doesn’t protect you from insults. Flack is also a word for a promoter. If you publish a book, you’ll need to flack — or promote it — yourself or hire a professional flack who will convince everyone to buy it. The German root is Fliegerabwehrkanone, "aviator-defense gun."

Definitions of flack
  1. noun
    intense adverse criticism
    synonyms: attack, blast, fire, flak
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    type of:
    criticism, unfavorable judgment
    disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings
  2. noun
    a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer
    synonyms: flack catcher, flak, flak catcher
    see moresee less
    type of:
    interpreter, representative, spokesperson, voice
    an advocate who represents someone else's policy or purpose
  3. noun
    artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes
    synonyms: ack-ack, ack-ack gun, antiaircraft, antiaircraft gun, flak, pom-pom
    see moresee less
    types:
    Bofors gun
    an automatic double-barreled antiaircraft gun
    type of:
    gun
    a weapon that discharges a missile at high velocity (especially from a metal tube or barrel)
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