Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

flay

[fley]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to strip off the skin or outer covering of.
  2. to criticize or scold with scathing severity.
  3. to deprive or strip of money or property.

Origin of flay

before 900; Middle English flen, Old English flēan; cognate with Middle Dutch vlaen, Old Norse flā
Related formsflay·er, nounun·flayed, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. castigate, excoriate, upbraid, chew out.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for flayed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They have only to be flayed, and their skins inflated, and they will readily give us a passage.

    Anabasis

    Xenophon

  • Then they flayed the monster, and the next morning the hide was shown to his majesty.

    Japanese Fairy World

    William Elliot Griffis

  • She lived amongst them, a passive victim, quivering in every nerve, as if she were flayed.

    Chance

    Joseph Conrad

  • Their only clothing is a breechcloth and a short skirt of flayed bark.

    Negritos of Zambales

    William Allan Reed

  • No doubt they would have flayed me alive, have sold my skin, and devoured, etc.


British Dictionary definitions for flayed

flay

verb (tr)
  1. to strip off the skin or outer covering of, esp by whipping; skin
  2. to attack with savage criticism
  3. to strip of money or goods, esp by cheating or extortion
Derived Formsflayer, noun

Word Origin

Old English flēan; related to Old Norse flā to peel, Lithuanian pl e šti to tear
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

Word Origin and History for flayed

flay

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper