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”).
- (intransitive, obsolete) To flutter; palpitate.
- (intransitive, Britain dialectal) To hang loosely; flag.
- (transitive, Britain dialectal) To beat by flapping.
flack (plural flacks)
- (Canada, US) A publicist, a publicity agent.
- 1998, Winston Smith, Art Crime: The Montage Art of Winston Smith, page 25:
- Edward Bernay, who was a consultant to the US Delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference which terminated the first World War (and who finally wound up as a flack for the United Fruit Company in Latin America), believed that propaganda and its covert marketing could effectively alter the will of the American public.
- 1999, Patricia Cornwell, The Southern Cross, page 233
- Thought you were flack," she said.
- "I'm not flack."
- "All right, P.R., a reporter, a novelist."
- (Canada, US) To publicise, to promote.
- 1997, Don DeLillo, Underworld:
- [..] he told funny stories about his early days in the theater district, flacking shows up and down the street, but Klara wasn’t listening.
Variant of flak.
- Alternative spelling of .