flak

If you’re taking flak, chances are you’re in a bad situation and taking fire from an enemy. Flak can refer to criticism — or worse, shots from an airplane.

Flak came into English as an abbreviation for the German word Fliegerabwehrkanone, meaning 'aircraft-defense gun.' (Yikes! No wonder they abbreviated it.) If you’re dealing with a lot of flak, you’re either in a fighter plane over enemy territory drawing shots, or you’re dealing with a volley of criticism that seems like antiaircraft fire. If you show up late for work for a third day, you’ll probably take some flak from your coworkers — they’ll take verbal shots at you.

Primary Meanings of flak

1.
n
artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes
2.
n
a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer
3.
n
intense adverse criticism
Full Definitions of flak
1

n artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes

Synonyms:
ack-ack, ack-ack gun, antiaircraft, antiaircraft gun, flack, pom-pom
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)
2

n a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer

Synonyms:
flack, flack catcher, flak catcher
Type of:
interpreter, representative, spokesperson, voice
an advocate who represents someone else's policy or purpose
3

n intense adverse criticism

“don't give me any flak
Synonyms:
attack, blast, fire, flack
Type of:
criticism, unfavorable judgment
disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings

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