Definition of leak in English:

leak

Line breaks: leak
Pronunciation: /liːk
 
/

verb

[no object]
  • 1(Of a container or covering) accidentally lose or admit contents, especially liquid or gas, through a hole or crack: the roof leaked (as adjective leaking) a leaking gutter [with object]: the drums were leaking an unidentified liquid
    More example sentences
    • Salvage and rescue workers who were rushed to the scene said one of the sunken acid containers was slowly leaking into the river.
    • The upended containers leaked, but they held together.
    • I got to work this morning and found that my lunch box had leaked into my bag, and there was pesto sauce from my pasta salad coating the inside of the bag.
    Synonyms
    seep (out), escape, ooze (out), exude, discharge, emanate, issue, drip, dribble, drain, bleed; spill, stream, gush (out), spurt, spout, squirt, spew, jetdischarge, exude, emit, eject, release, drip, dribble, pour out, send forth, ooze, excrete, secrete
  • 1.1 [with adverbial of direction] (Of liquid, gas, etc.) be accidentally lost or admitted through a hole or crack in a container or covering: water kept leaking in
    More example sentences
    • He warned that the fetid water could spread disease and that natural gas was leaking all over town.
    • This is from where, on the night of December 3, 1984, tons of poisonous gas leaked.
    • The people who are left out in this system are like canaries that miners took with them; if poisonous gas were leaking into the mine, the canaries would sicken.
  • 2(Of secret information) become known: worrying stories leaked out
    More example sentences
    • After all, he adds, he wasn't convinced anything significant was happening till enough information leaked out.
    • From time to time, bits of scraggy information leaked out, courtesy of a spectacular defection or from a John le Carré spy novel.
    • The council meeting was inconclusive and, instead of going away, the matter festered and more information leaked out.
  • 2.1 [with object] Intentionally disclose (secret information): a report was leaked to the press (as adjective leaked) a leaked government document
    More example sentences
    • The next three days were dominated by stories about the merits of the broadcast and who leaked information about the girl's family and not, as Labour had hoped, on general health issues.
    • He said it was his hope ‘that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present being asked to reveal who is leaking this information’.
    • Information was leaked to the press at the time of the shooting, indicating that the Brazilian had behaved in such a way as to encourage the police in their belief that he was a terrorist.
    Synonyms
    disclose, divulge, reveal, make known, make public, tell, impart, pass on, relate, communicate, expose, broadcast, publish, release, unveil, give away, betray, admit, confess, let slip, blurt out, bring into the open, bring to light; let on
    informal take the lid off, blow wide open, blab, let the cat out of the bag, spill the beans, blow the gaff

noun

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  • 1A hole in a container or covering through which contents may accidentally pass: I checked all of the pipework for leaks
    More example sentences
    • Vehicles passing over the leaks then cause the damaged surface to break up, creating loose stones which could fly off, causing damage or injury they said.
    • This stuff is useful for filling in holes and leaks, and for burning skin upon contact, in either its resin or powder form.
    • In such times, we cling desperately to the life raft of the First Amendment, yet we must also remain aware of its leaks and holes.
    Synonyms
    hole, opening, puncture, perforation, prick, cut, gash, slit, nick, rent, break, rift, crack, crevice, chink, fissure, rupture, aperture
  • 1.1An instance of leaking: a gas leak [mass noun]: the leak of fluid may occur
    More example sentences
    • While diesel is less flammable than gasoline, any fuel leak creates serious safety and environmental risks in a marine setting.
    • If it is found that the hole is nothing to do with the leak then we will pass on the cost to the council.
    • Yes, yes, its function is plain: it seals the hole, preventing leaks.
    Synonyms
    discharge, leakage, leaking, oozing, seeping, seepage, drip, percolation; escape, gush, issue, flow, outflow, emanation
    technical efflux

Phrases

have (or take) a leak

informal Urinate.
More example sentences
  • A guy is standing taking a leak over the water onto the dead body.
  • Of course, what really happened was slightly less horrible; someone took a leak outside the cells, and the gentle Caribbean breeze carried a jot of pee through a ventilation grill.
  • He immediately jumped right in the new box and took a leak.

Derivatives

leaker

noun
More example sentences
  • Step 2 was to accuse the administration of observing a double standard on leaks, giving reporters national security information when the information benefits them and vilifying leakers when it doesn't.
  • What the health of the Republic requires, in other words, may not be a new crop of leakers and whistleblowers, or a fresh young generation of Woodwards and Bernsteins - or even a more independent, aggressive media.
  • ‘I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers,’ he said.

Origin

late Middle English: probably of Low German or Dutch origin and related to lack.

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