[ fleyl ]
/ fleɪl /


an instrument for threshing grain, consisting of a staff or handle to one end of which is attached a freely swinging stick or bar.
a similar instrument used as a weapon of war.

verb (used with or without object)

to beat or swing with or as if with a flail.

Origin of flail

before 1100; Middle English fleil (noun), Old English flighel (probably misspelling of *flegil), cognate with Dutch vlegel, German Flegel < West Germanic *flagil- < Late Latin flagellum flail, Latin: whip, scourge. See flagellum

Example sentences from the Web for flail

British Dictionary definitions for flail

/ (fleɪl) /


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


(tr) to beat or thrash with or as if with a flail
to move or be moved like a flail; thresh about with arms flailing

Word Origin for flail

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

Medical definitions for flail

[ flāl ]


To move vigorously or erratically; thrash about.
To strike or lash out violently.