Meaning of LEAK in English

I. ˈlēk verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English leken, from Old Norse leka to drip, leak; akin to Old English leccan to moisten, Old High German z elechen cracked by heat, leaky, Old Irish legaim I melt, dissolve, Armenian lič swamp

intransitive verb


a. : to enter or escape through a hole, crevice, or other opening usually by a fault or mistake

the possibility of oil or exhaust fumes leaking in — H.G.Armstrong

if the granary be not tight, the grain will leak out — C.H.Grandgent

b. : to let a substance (as water or gas) or light in or out through a hole, crevice, or other opening

a camera bellows may leak

the boat leaks

the gas tank leaks

2. : urinate

3. : to become known despite efforts at concealment : become public information : get out

it's top secret, not a word can leak for forty-eight hours — Louis Vaczek

how it had been done would leak across in time — Frank Ritchie

— often used with out

news of the discoveries leaked out — American Guide Series: Nevada

transitive verb


a. : to permit to enter or escape through a leak

camera bellows which … leak light — Eastman Kodak Monthly Abstract Bulletin

hot in the train, the windows leaked cinders — Lionel Trilling

the little granary leaked wheat — C.T.Jackson

b. : to cause to be issued as if by a leak : give off

exquisite mosaics leaked the sour stench — L.C.Douglas

July night leaked heat — J.T.Farrell

phonographs leaked … symphonies and string quartets — Winthrop Sargeant

2. : to give out or pass on (as secret information) surreptitiously

leaked information which resulted in some people making quick profits — Springfield (Massachusetts) Union

leak important news to friendly newspapers

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English leke, probably from Old Norse leki; akin to Old Norse leka to leak


a. : a crack, crevice, fissure, or hole that usually by mistake admits or lets escape (as water or light)

the ship sprang a leak

a camera bellows may have a light leak

b. : something that permits the admission or escape of something else usually with prejudicial effect

even the tightest precautions have some leaks — Time

errors in change and pilfering are common leaks in the grocery business

c. : a loss of electricity or of electric current sometimes due to faulty insulation ; also : the point or the path at which such loss occurs

2. : the act, process, or an instance of leaking

in the sun the outward leak of energy is carried by radiation — Fred Hoyle

through the process of premeditated leaks, the press may tell all — New Republic

3. : a soft watery rot of fruits or vegetables caused by various fungi (as Rhizopus stolonifer or Pythium debaryanum )

4. : an act of urinating — usually used with take

stopped to take a leak — Saul Bellow

— not often in polite use

III. adjective

Etymology: probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse lekr leaky; akin to Old Norse leka to leak

obsolete : leaky

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.