flail(redirected from flailing)
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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
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.
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.]
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. (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
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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
flail- Based on Latin flagellum, "whip."
See also related terms for whip.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: flailed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||flail - 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
|Verb||1.||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"
|2.||flail - move like a flail; thresh about; "Her arms were flailing"|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A. N (Agr) → mayal m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
vi [arms, legs] → battre l'air
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
n → (Dresch)flegel m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
flail[fleɪl] vi (arms, legs) → agitare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995