- 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 flaying
We want our primal fill like the Romans forcing some standard-stealing barbarian on a flaying parade.Osama bin Laden Died a Fool and Has No Legacy
May 6, 2011
There were two girls who were flaying each other outside the 'Grand-Balcony.'L'Assommoir
The makers of goat-skin bags have a curious skill in flaying.Beast and Man in India
John Lockwood Kipling
They screamed as if escaping death; they resisted as if some one were flaying them.Let us follow Him
He had also persuaded a neighbor to be present on the occasion of the flaying.Folk-lore of Shakespeare
Thomas Firminger Thiselton-Dyer
The skin can then be removed by flaying as in skinning a beef.Steel Traps
A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
- 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 flaying
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.