[flaj-uh-luh nt, fluh-jel-uh nt]
- a person who flagellates or scourges himself or herself for religious discipline.
- a person who derives sexual pleasure from whipping or being whipped by another person.
- (often initial capital letter) one of a medieval European sect of fanatics who practiced scourging in public.
- severely criticizing: a flagellant attack on the opposition party.
Origin of flagellant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for flagellants
"These are the Beating Friars, otherwise called the Flagellants," quoth he.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
And the Flagellants and the Penitenti—have even their ghosts departed?The Story of Perugia
The proceedings of the Flagellants in all countries were very similar.Religion & Sex
This practice soon became a regular craze and was taken up later by the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and the Flagellants.The Rise of the Mediaeval Church
Alexander Clarence Flick
Every country had its wandering hordes of flagellants and penitents, its crusaders and its pilgrims.Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7)
John Addington Symonds
- a person who whips himself or others either as part of a religious penance or for sexual gratification
- (often capital) (in medieval Europe) a member of a religious sect who whipped themselves in public
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 flagellants
late 16c., from Latin flagellantem (nominative flagellans), present participle of flagellare "to scourge, lash" (see flagellum).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper