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
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.
1 allow sth to get out through a hole
ADV. badly The house was old and the roof leaked quite badly. | slightly
2 tell sb about sth
ADV. carefully, deliberately | widely The document had been widely leaked.
PREP. from Confidential information that has been leaked from the BBC. | to The report was leaked to the press.