Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

flay

play
verb \ˈflā\

Simple Definition of flay

  • : to beat or whip (someone or something) in a very violent and severe way

Full Definition of flay

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to strip off the skin or surface of :  skin

  3. 2 :  to criticize harshly :  excoriate

  4. 3 :  lash 1b <the wind whipped up to gale fury, flaying his face — Richard Kent>

Examples of flay

  1. <her husband flayed her constantly for her incessant shopping>

  2. <flayed their kill right there in the forest, taking both the meat and the skin home>



Origin of flay

Middle English flen, from Old English flēan; akin to Old Norse flā to flay, Lithuanian plėšti to tear


First Known Use: before 12th century



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up flay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ