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Origin of flail

First recorded before 1100; Middle English fleil (noun), Old English flighel (probably misspelling of unattested flegil ), cognate with Dutch vlegel, German Flegel, from unattested West Germanic flagil-, from Late Latin flagellum “flail,” Latin: “whip, scourge”; see flagellum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use flail in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for flail

flail
/ (fleɪl) /

noun
an implement used for threshing grain, consisting of a wooden handle with a free-swinging metal or wooden bar attached to it
a weapon so shaped used in the Middle Ages
verb
(tr) to beat or thrash with or as if with a flail
to move or be moved like a flail; thresh aboutwith arms flailing

Word Origin for flail

C12 fleil, ultimately from Late Latin flagellum flail, from Latin: whip
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
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