• synonyms


[flaj-uh-luh nt, fluh-jel-uh nt]
  1. a person who flagellates or scourges himself or herself for religious discipline.
  2. a person who derives sexual pleasure from whipping or being whipped by another person.
  3. (often initial capital letter) one of a medieval European sect of fanatics who practiced scourging in public.
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  1. flagellating.
  2. severely criticizing: a flagellant attack on the opposition party.
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Origin of flagellant

1555–65; < Latin flagellant- (stem of flagellāns) whipping, present participle of flagellāre. See flagellum, -ant
Related formsflag·el·lant·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for flagellant

Historical Examples of flagellant

  • "Vainglory is a sleeveless errand," murmured the spirit of the flagellant.

    Under the Rose

    Frederic Stewart Isham

  • The big drummer of the Company stepped to the front; he was the flagellant.

  • If I was a Flagellant now, I would don hairshirt and up flail.

  • He had given up a high position at the papal court to lead the life of a flagellant and barefooted friar.

  • And with a flagellant's pleasure the patient nurses this fire of fever, till it flames up in a bright blaze.

    mile Verhaeren

    Stefan Zweig

British Dictionary definitions for flagellant


flagellator (ˈflædʒɪˌleɪtə)

  1. a person who whips himself or others either as part of a religious penance or for sexual gratification
  2. (often capital) (in medieval Europe) a member of a religious sect who whipped themselves in public
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Derived Formsflagellantism, noun

Word Origin for flagellant

C16: from Latin flagellāre to whip, from flagellum
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 flagellant


late 16c., from Latin flagellantem (nominative flagellans), present participle of flagellare "to scourge, lash" (see flagellum).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper