flail

(redirected from flails)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

flail

 (flāl)
n.
A manual threshing device consisting of a long wooden handle or staff and a shorter, free-swinging stick attached to its end.
v. flailed, flail·ing, flails
v.tr.
1. To beat or strike with or as if with a flail: flailed our horses with the reins.
2. To wave or swing vigorously; thrash: flailed my arms to get their attention.
3. To thresh using a flail.
v.intr.
1. To move vigorously or erratically; thrash about: arms flailing helplessly in the water.
2. To strike or lash out violently: boxers flailing at each other in the ring.
3. To make energetic but aimless or or ineffectual efforts: "As the end of law school approached, Hill flailed briefly in numerous professional directions" (Molly Worthen).
4. To thresh grain.

[Middle English, from Old English flegil and from Old French flaiel, both from Late Latin flagellum, threshing tool, from Latin flagrum, whip.]

flail

(fleɪl)
n
1. (Agriculture) an implement used for threshing grain, consisting of a wooden handle with a free-swinging metal or wooden bar attached to it
2. (Arms & Armour (excluding Firearms)) a weapon so shaped used in the Middle Ages
vb
3. (tr) to beat or thrash with or as if with a flail
4. to move or be moved like a flail; thresh about: with arms flailing.
[C12 fleil, ultimately from Late Latin flagellum flail, from Latin: whip]

flail

(fleɪl)

n.
1. an instrument for threshing grain, consisting of a staff or handle to one end of which is attached a freely swinging stick or bar.
v.t., v.i.
2. to beat or swing with or as if with a flail.
[before 1100; Middle English fleil, Old English flighel. See flagellum]

flail

- Based on Latin flagellum, "whip."
See also related terms for whip.

flail


Past participle: flailed
Gerund: flailing

Imperative
flail
flail
Present
I flail
you flail
he/she/it flails
we flail
you flail
they flail
Preterite
I flailed
you flailed
he/she/it flailed
we flailed
you flailed
they flailed
Present Continuous
I am flailing
you are flailing
he/she/it is flailing
we are flailing
you are flailing
they are flailing
Present Perfect
I have flailed
you have flailed
he/she/it has flailed
we have flailed
you have flailed
they have flailed
Past Continuous
I was flailing
you were flailing
he/she/it was flailing
we were flailing
you were flailing
they were flailing
Past Perfect
I had flailed
you had flailed
he/she/it had flailed
we had flailed
you had flailed
they had flailed
Future
I will flail
you will flail
he/she/it will flail
we will flail
you will flail
they will flail
Future Perfect
I will have flailed
you will have flailed
he/she/it will have flailed
we will have flailed
you will have flailed
they will have flailed
Future Continuous
I will be flailing
you will be flailing
he/she/it will be flailing
we will be flailing
you will be flailing
they will be flailing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been flailing
you have been flailing
he/she/it has been flailing
we have been flailing
you have been flailing
they have been flailing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been flailing
you will have been flailing
he/she/it will have been flailing
we will have been flailing
you will have been flailing
they will have been flailing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been flailing
you had been flailing
he/she/it had been flailing
we had been flailing
you had been flailing
they had been flailing
Conditional
I would flail
you would flail
he/she/it would flail
we would flail
you would flail
they would flail
Past Conditional
I would have flailed
you would have flailed
he/she/it would have flailed
we would have flailed
you would have flailed
they would have flailed

Flail

A hand-threshing implement that consisted of two wooden sticks connected together by a flexible connection such as a piece of chain or a leather strap or thong. One of the sticks functioned as a handle while the other piece, the Swipple, was used to beat the grain loose from the stalks.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.flail - an implement consisting of handle with a free swinging stick at the endflail - an implement consisting of handle with a free swinging stick at the end; used in manual threshing
implement - instrumentation (a piece of equipment or tool) used to effect an end
Verb1.flail - give a thrashing to; beat hard
beat up, work over, beat - give a beating to; subject to a beating, either as a punishment or as an act of aggression; "Thugs beat him up when he walked down the street late at night"; "The teacher used to beat the students"
drub, lick, clobber, cream, bat, thrash - beat thoroughly and conclusively in a competition or fight; "We licked the other team on Sunday!"
2.flail - move like a flail; thresh about; "Her arms were flailing"
flap, beat - move with a flapping motion; "The bird's wings were flapping"

flail

verb thrash, beat, windmill, thresh His arms were flailing in all directions.

flail

verb
1. To swing about or strike at wildly:
2. To beat (plants) with a machine or by hand to separate the grain from the straw:
Translations
cepřemdih
stridsplejl
ketjukuulanuijavarsta
fléaufléau d'armes
tritorium bellicum
strijdvlegelvlegel
řemdihremdik
млат
fäktaslagastridsgisselvifta

flail

[fleɪl]
A. N (Agr) → mayal m
B. VT
1. (Agr) → desgranar
2. (= beat) → golpear, azotar
3. (= agitate) [+ arms, legs] → agitar
C. VI to flail (about) [arms, legs] → agitarse; [person] → revolverse
I tried to grab his flailing armsintenté agarrarle los brazos que no paraba de agitar

flail

[ˈfleɪl]
vi [arms, legs] → battre l'air
vt [+ arms, legs] → agiter dans tous les sens
n (for winnowing)fléau m
flail around
vibattre l'air

flail

n(Dresch)flegel m
vtdreschen; he flailed his arms about or around wildlyer schlug wild (mit den Armen) um sich
vi to flail (about)herumfuchteln; the dying deer with its legs flailing in all directionsdas verendende Reh, das mit seinen Läufen nach allen Richtungen ausschlug

flail

[fleɪl] vi (arms, legs) → agitare
References in classic literature ?
The arms of the combatants whirled in the air like flails.
Boar-spears, scythes, flails, and the like, were their chief arms; for the Normans, with the usual policy of conquerors, were jealous of permitting to the vanquished Saxons the possession or the use of swords and spears.
The old men on the rising straw-rick talked of the past days when they had been accustomed to thresh with flails on the oaken barn-door; when everything, even to winnowing, was effected by hand-labour, which, to their thinking, though slow, produced better results.
Under this were hung flails, harness, various utensils of husbandry, and nets for fishing in the neighboring river.
A strapping, ruddy girl was beating flax or some such stuff in a little bit of a good-box of a barn, and she swung her flail with a will--if it was a flail; I was not farmer enough to know what she was at; a frowsy, barelegged girl was herding half a dozen geese with a stick--driving them along the lane and keeping them out of the dwellings; a cooper was at work in a shop which I know he did not make so large a thing as a hogshead in, for there was not room.
Daniel galloped up silently, holding a naked dagger in his left hand and thrashing the laboring sides of his chestnut horse with his whip as if it were a flail.
I observed, here and there, many in the habit of servants, with a blown bladder, fastened like a flail to the end of a stick, which they carried in their hands.
The questionable sound of Silas's loom, so unlike the natural cheerful trotting of the winnowing-machine, or the simpler rhythm of the flail, had a half-fearful fascination for the Raveloe boys, who would often leave off their nutting or birds'-nesting to peep in at the window of the stone cottage, counterbalancing a certain awe at the mysterious action of the loom, by a pleasant sense of scornful superiority, drawn from the mockery of its alternating noises, along with the bent, tread-mill attitude of the weaver.
The cost of an efficient farm system is now so little-- not more than two dollars a month, that the present trashy lines are certain sooner or later to go to the junk-heap with the sickle and the flail and all the other cheap and unprofitable things.
Others proposed the "anguille," another kind of recreation, in which a handkerchief is filled with sand, pebbles, and two-sous pieces, when they have them, which the wretches beat like a flail over the head and shoulders of the unhappy sufferer.
I was the flail of the Lord up in those parts, I may tell you, though you won't find it in any Blue-book.
He fought now like a human flail, and every sweep of that terrible sword would have severed in twain any man or boy who obstructed it; but Peter fluttered round him as if the very wind it made blew him out of the danger zone.