Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A press agent; a publicist.
  • intransitive v. To act as a press agent: flacking for a movie studio.
  • transitive v. To act as a press agent for; promote: authors who tour the country flacking their books.
  • n. Variant of flak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To flutter; palpitate.
  • v. To hang loosely; flag.
  • v. To beat by flapping.
  • n. a publicist, a publicity agent
  • v. to publicise, to promote
  • n. Alternative spelling of flak.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To flutter; palpitate.
  • To hang loosely; flag.
  • To beat by flapping.
  • n. A blow; a stroke.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes
  • n. intense adverse criticism
  • n. a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English flacken ("to palpitate, flutter"), akin to Middle Dutch vlacken ("to flicker, flash, sparkle"), Danish flakke ("to wander"), Swedish flacka ("to rove, rove about, ramble"), Icelandic flakka ("to move"). Compare also Icelandic flaka ("to flap, hang loose"), Swedish flaxa ("to flap, flutter"). (Wiktionary)
Unknown (Wiktionary)
Variant of flak. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pardon my language but how in the flickitty-flack is choking and punching someone after you threaten to kill them a “mistake?”

    Pam Grier “Smallville” Guest Arc Kicks Off In January

  • Back in April, the Department of Homeland Security caught a lot of flack from the right wing for issuing the memo that warned of "lone wolves" from both the extreme left and the right committing acts of terror just like this.

    Holocaust Museum Terrorism

  • Now I am probably going to catch a lot of flack from the pseudo-EMO crowd that follows these novels like a bevy of groveling lemmings.

    Five Reasons to Hate Twilight | myFiveBest

  • “In fact, we got flack from the studio one day, because we shot nine rolls of film of just Sharlto in this one scene; he just kept going and going and going!”

    ‘A-Team Week’: New Murdock Sharlto Copley Plays With Puppets, Takes A-Team to Texas » MTV Movies Blog

  • If Mr. Obama is catching the requisite flack from the right, he's also getting it from the left, and it's not just over economics.

    So Much for That

  • However, I thought you might be interested in one of the most obnoxious articles on the topic ever, from MacLean's (Canada's newsweekly) -- basically, the article quotes some flack from the plastic bag industry protesting Toronto's bag charge on the grounds that bags are only a small part of the ocean's trash, and therefore we shouldn't expend our efforts there but fight other plastics instead.

    Seattle's Green Bag Campaign

  • With today's Federal Communications Commission members taking regular flack from the television industry for being too deferential to the big telecom companies in areas such as spectrum allocation, it's easy to forget that the FCC has been staffed by people more sympathetic to broadcaster concerns.

    2010's notable tech industry deaths

  • He never gave a media interview, telling an overeager label flack: "It's better that way; when I talk, it's rubbish."

    The Disappearing Maestro

  • The reason I think this will get some flack is because often people cannot distinguish a story that stands on its own from a criticism on their beliefs.

    ...um, Hellboy? Witches? Conan?

  • Like some of the others who've commented, I got a lot of flack from a certain family member about staying home before the children came.

    The First Year At Home

Comments

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