fla·​gel·​lant ˈfla-jə-lənt How to pronounce flagellant (audio)
: a person who scourges himself or herself as a public penance
: a person who responds sexually to being beaten by or to beating another person
flagellant adjective
ˈfla-jə-lən-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce flagellant (audio)

Examples of flagellant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The field guide to millenarianism remains Norman Cohn’s Pursuit of the Millennium, that magical mystery tour of Ranters, flagellants, Free Spirits, messiahs, lesser messiahs, autocratic messiahs, disappointed messiahs, and anarcho-communists. Michael Robbins, Harper's Magazine, 9 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flagellant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flagellant was circa 1587

Dictionary Entries Near flagellant

Cite this Entry

“Flagellant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flagellant. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


fla·​gel·​lant ˈflaj-ə-lənt How to pronounce flagellant (audio) flə-ˈjel-ənt How to pronounce flagellant (audio)
: a person who responds sexually to being beaten by or to beating another flagellant person
flagellant adjective
flagellantism noun

More from Merriam-Webster on flagellant

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