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

  • intransitive v. To permit the escape, entry, or passage of something through a breach or flaw: rusted pipes that were beginning to leak; a boat leaking at the seams.
  • intransitive v. To escape or pass through a breach or flaw: helium leaking slowly from the balloon.
  • intransitive v. Informal To become publicly known through a breach of secrecy: The news has leaked.
  • transitive v. To permit (a substance) to escape or pass through a breach or flaw: a damaged reactor leaking radioactivity into the atmosphere.
  • transitive v. Informal To disclose without authorization or official sanction: leaked classified information to a reporter.
  • n. A crack or flaw that permits something to escape from or enter a container or conduit: fixed the leak in the roof.
  • n. The act or instance of leaking.
  • n. An amount leaked: equipment used in cleaning up oil leaks.
  • n. Informal An unauthorized or a deliberate disclosure of confidential information: "Sometimes we can't respond to stories based on leaks” ( Ronald Reagan).
  • n. Loss of electric current as a result of faulty insulation.
  • n. The path or place at which this loss takes place.
  • idiom take a leak Vulgar Slang To urinate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A crack, crevice, fissure, or hole which admits water or other fluid, or lets it escape.
  • n. The entrance or escape of a fluid through a crack, fissure, or other aperture.
  • n. A divulgation, or disclosure, of information held secret util then.
  • n. The person through whom such divulgation, or disclosure, occurred.
  • n. The gradual loss of a system resource caused by failure to deallocate previously reserved portions.
  • n. A draining of one's urine (especially of a man)
  • v. To allow fluid to escape or enter something that should be sealed.
  • v. To reveal secret information.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Leaky.
  • n. A crack, crevice, fissure, or hole which admits water or other fluid, or lets it escape
  • n. The entrance or escape of a fluid through a crack, fissure, or other aperture.
  • n. A loss of electricity through imperfect insulation; also, the point at which such loss occurs.
  • n. an act of urinating; -- used mostly in the phrase take a leak, i. e. to urinate.
  • n. The disclosure of information that is expected to be kept confidential.
  • intransitive v. To let water or other fluid in or out through a hole, crevice, etc.
  • intransitive v. To enter or escape, as a fluid, through a hole, crevice, etc.; to pass gradually into, or out of, something; -- usually with in or out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To let water or other fluid, or light, etc., out of, into, or through something, by an accidental or unintentional aperture, or through permeable material: as, the eask leaks; the ship is leaking; the roof leaks.
  • To ooze or pass, as water or other fluid, or anything that can flow, as grain, through an aperture.
  • To void water or urine.
  • To let out or in (especially some fluid) by an accidental aperture: as, the pipe leaks gas; the roof leaks rain; the camera leaks light.
  • To make leaky.
  • Leaky.
  • n. An aperture by which anything that can flow, especially water or other fluid, passes out of, into, or through anything intended to contain, exclude, or restrain it; a crack, crevice, fissure, or hole that permits the passage of anything intended to be shut in or out: as, a leak in a cask, ship, dam, or dike; to stop or plug a leak.
  • n. The oozing or passing of a fluid, etc., into, out of, or through anything by an accidental or unintentional aperture or through a permeable medium; leakage.
  • n. A gutter.

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

  • v. tell anonymously
  • n. soft watery rot in fruits and vegetables caused by fungi
  • v. enter or escape as through a hole or crack or fissure
  • v. have an opening that allows light or substances to enter or go out
  • n. unauthorized (especially deliberate) disclosure of confidential information
  • v. be leaked
  • n. an accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape
  • n. a euphemism for urination
  • n. the discharge of a fluid from some container


Middle English leken, probably from Middle Dutch lēken.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English leken ("to let water in or out"), from Middle Dutch leken ("to leak, drip") or Old Norse leka ("to leak, drip"); both from Proto-Germanic *lekanan (“to leak, drain”), from Proto-Indo-European *leg-, *leǵ- (“to leak”). Cognate with Dutch lekken ("to leak"), German lechen, lecken ("to leak"), Swedish läcka ("to leak"), Icelandic leka ("to leak"). Related also to Old English leċċan ("to water, wet"), Albanian lag, lak ("I damp, make wet"). See also leach, lake. (Wiktionary)



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  • underwater oil leak, Wikileak

    August 4, 2010

  • "One leak will sink a ship, and one sin will destroy a sinner."
    John Bunyan (1628-1688), Pilgrim's Progress

    September 20, 2009

  • ... and then they put their arms around each other's necks, and hung their chins over each other's shoulders; and then for three minutes, or maybe four, I never see two men leak the way they done. HF 25

    December 7, 2006