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leak noun

1 small hole/crack

VERB + LEAK have The boat had a small leak. | spring The pipe has sprung a leak. | plug, stop I managed to plug the leak.

PREP. ~ in a leak in the roof

2 when gas/liquid escapes

ADJ. major, serious | minor | slow | fuel, gas, oil, radiation, radioactive

VERB + LEAK cause The dismantling of a nuclear reprocessing plant caused a leak of radioactivity yesterday. | detect, discover, find, notice, spot Fortunately, we spotted the leak in time. | fix, repair, stop The plumber fixed the leak. | prevent taking steps to prevent gas leaks in the future

LEAK + VERB happen, occur

PREP. ~ from Pollution inspectors were called to a leak from a chemical factory. | ~ of a leak of dangerous chemicals

3 giving away information

ADJ. security

LEAK + VERB come from sth The leak could only have come from one source.

PREP. ~ about a security leak about a number of suspicious deaths among civil servants | ~ from a leak from the prime minister's office | ~ of a leak of confidential material | ~ to a leak to the American authorities

PHRASES the source of a leak The organization's press secretary is thought to be the source of the leak.