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flail

[fleyl] /fleɪl/
noun
1.
an instrument for threshing grain, consisting of a staff or handle to one end of which is attached a freely swinging stick or bar.
2.
a similar instrument used as a weapon of war.
verb (used with or without object)
3.
to beat or swing with or as if with a flail.
Origin of flail
1100
before 1100; Middle English fleil (noun), Old English flighel (probably misspelling of *flegil), cognate with Dutch vlegel, German Flegel < West Germanic *flagil- < Late Latin flagellum flail, Latin: whip, scourge. See flagellum
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for flailed
Historical Examples
  • His head broke the surface, and he flailed the water in an effort to keep his nose in air.

    The Players Everett B. Cole
  • He flailed the air frantically, and managed to regain his balance.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He shot his eyes quickly sideways as she flailed the air with her forefeet within a foot of his head.

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
  • Braced on his strong, short legs Gunnar flailed them like wheat.

    Hunters Out of Space Joseph Everidge Kelleam
  • Leaping to his feet, Kendrick flailed out with solid fists at their attackers.

  • Then he had them beaten, flailed, until the fibres were all separated one from another.

    Picturesque Pala George Wharton James
  • The icy paralysis left his arms and legs; he kicked and flailed.

    The Fourth R George Oliver Smith
  • As the others rushed in, Gavir flailed about him with long arms and heavy fists.

    Star Performer Robert J. Shea
  • Now she wound her fingers in the white cloud of mane that flailed her face and edged up, inch by inch.

    Tharon of Lost Valley Vingie E. Roe
  • He neither stamped his feet nor flailed his arms about to drive off the cold.

    The Real Adventure Henry Kitchell Webster
British Dictionary definitions for flailed

flail

/fleɪl/
noun
1.
an implement used for threshing grain, consisting of a wooden handle with a free-swinging metal or wooden bar attached to it
2.
a weapon so shaped used in the Middle Ages
verb
3.
(transitive) to beat or thrash with or as if with a flail
4.
to move or be moved like a flail; thresh about: with arms flailing
Word Origin
C12 fleil, ultimately from Late Latin flagellum flail, from Latin: whip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flailed

flail

n.

"implement for threshing grain," c.1100, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *flegel, which probably represents West Germanic *flagil (cf. Middle Dutch and Low German vlegel, Old High German flegel, German flegel), a borrowing of Late Latin flagellum "winnowing tool, flail," from Latin flagellum "whip" (see flagellum).

v.

15c., from flail (n.); originally "to scourge;" sense of "to move like a flail" is from 1874. Related: Flailed; flailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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flailed in Medicine

flail (flāl)
v. flailed, flail·ing, flails

  1. To move vigorously or erratically; thrash about.

  2. To strike or lash out violently.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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11
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