- to strip off the skin or outer covering of.
- to criticize or scold with scathing severity.
- to deprive or strip of money or property.
Origin of flay
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for flay
He was captured and—despite loud calls to flay him alive, lynch him, tear him apart, and the like—given a lengthy trial.Mumbai Massacre Perpetrator's Sentence Affirmed
September 3, 2012
The Chicago Tribune took every chance to flay Truman, as The Wall Street Journal daily flays Obama.Obama’s Truman Moment
September 9, 2011
Whoever advised President Obama to flay Israel publicly until this week should be fired.Fire the Mideast Policy Team!
Leslie H. Gelb
July 7, 2010
I've a right to the money, and I'll flay him alive if I don't get it!The Liberty Boys Running the Blockade
He drew out his knife and ripping the otter up he began to flay him.The Children of Odin
His invectives and vituperations bite and flay like steel whips.Suspended Judgments
John Cowper Powys
They strip them bare, flay them and cut away the flesh about the foot.The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles
Jean Henri Fabre
To flay off your skin, that I may make me a warm cap against the winter.The Book of Stories for the Storyteller
Fanny E. Coe
- to strip off the skin or outer covering of, esp by whipping; skin
- to attack with savage criticism
- to strip of money or goods, esp by cheating or extortion
Word Origin and History for flay
Old English flean "to skin" (strong verb, past tense flog, past participle flagen), from Proto-Germanic *flakhanan (cf. Middle Dutch vlaen, Old High German flahan, Old Norse fla), from PIE root *plak- (2) "to hit" (cf. Greek plessein "to strike," Lithuanian plešiu "to tear;" see plague (n.)). Related: Flayed; flaying.