Pronunciation Noun

flail (plural flails)

  1. A tool used for threshing, consisting of a long handle with a shorter stick attached with a short piece of chain, thong or similar material.
  2. A weapon which has the (usually spherical) striking part attached to the handle with a flexible joint such as a chain.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • French: fléau d’armes
  • German: Flegel
  • Italian: mazzafrusto
  • Portuguese: mangual
  • Russian: кисте́нь
  • Spanish: mangual

flail (flails, present participle flailing; past and past participle flailed)

  1. (transitive) To beat using a flail or similar implement.
  2. (transitive) To wave or swing vigorously
    Synonyms: thrash
    • 1937, H. P. Lovecraft, The Evil Clergyman
      He stopped in his tracks – then, flailing his arms wildly in the air, began to stagger backwards.
  3. (transitive) To thresh.
  4. (intransitive) To move like a flail.
    He was flailing wildly, but didn't land a blow.
Translations Translations

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