(noun) an implement consisting of handle with a free swinging stick at the end; used in manual threshing

thrash, thresh, lam, flail

(verb) give a thrashing to; beat hard

flail, thresh

(verb) move like a flail; thresh about; “Her arms were flailing”

Source: WordNet® 3.1



flail (plural flails)

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.

A weapon which has the (usually spherical) striking part attached to the handle with a flexible joint such as a chain.


• threshel, thrashel

Coordinate terms

• (weapon): nunchaku


flail (third-person singular simple present flails, present participle flailing, simple past and past participle flailed)

(transitive) To beat using a flail or similar implement.

(transitive) To wave or swing vigorously

Synonym: thrash

(transitive) To thresh.

(intransitive) To move like a flail.

Source: Wiktionary

Flail, n. Etym: [L. flagellum whip, scourge, in LL., a threshing flail: cf. OF. flael, flaiel, F. fléau. See Flagellum.]

1. An instrument for threshing or beating grain from the ear by hand, consisting of a wooden staff or handle, at the end of which a stouter and shorter pole or club, called a swipe, is so hung as to swing freely. His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn. Milton.

2. An ancient military weapon, like the common flail, often having the striking part armed with rows of spikes, or loaded. Fairholt. No citizen thought himself safe unless he carried under his coat a small flail, loaded with lead, to brain the Popish assassins. Macaulay.

Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition


Word of the Day

5 February 2023


(adjective) (of societies or families) having a female as the family head or having descent traced through the female line

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