v. leaked, leak·ing, leaks
1. 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.
2. To escape or pass through a breach or flaw: helium leaking slowly from the balloon.
3. To become publicly known through a breach of secrecy: The news has leaked.
1. To permit (a substance) to escape or pass through a breach or flaw: a damaged reactor leaking radioactivity into the atmosphere.
2. To disclose without authorization or official sanction: leaked classified information to a reporter.
1. A crack or flaw that permits something to escape from or enter a container or conduit: fixed the leak in the roof.
a. The act or instance of leaking.
b. An amount leaked: equipment used in cleaning up oil leaks.
3. An unauthorized or a deliberate disclosure of confidential information: "Sometimes we can't respond to stories based on leaks" (Ronald Reagan).
a. Loss of electric current as a result of faulty insulation.
b. The path or place at which this loss takes place.
take a leak Vulgar Slang
[Middle English leken, probably from Middle Dutch lēken.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.