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 (flăj′ə-lənt, flə-jĕl′ənt)
1. One who whips, especially one who scourges oneself for religious discipline or public penance.
2. One who seeks sexual gratification in beating or being beaten by another person.

[Latin flagellāns, flagellant-, from present participle of flagellāre, to whip; see flagellate.]

flag′el·lant adj.
flag′el·lant·ism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the practice of ascetic individuals or groups who indulge in scourging for the sake of discipline or punishment.
2. (cap.) the practice of a 13th- and 14th-century fanatical European sect that indulged in scourging to avoid the punishment of God. — flagellant, n., adj.
See also: Christianity
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The act of flagellantism also highlights the impact that value and culture can have on how an individual uses their body.
Disparaging commentary about one's country of birth unavoidably causes some uneasiness in a reader, since it is vaguely suggestive of indulgence in flagellantism. It is the interminable, boring tales of boozing, however, together with the continual use of shopworn leftist political ideas and jargon, which make Vartti's narration curiously tedious and flat.