flagellate

1 of 3

verb

flag·​el·​late ˈfla-jə-ˌlāt How to pronounce flagellate (audio)
flagellated; flagellating

transitive verb

1
2
: to drive or punish as if by whipping

flagellate

2 of 3

adjective

1
a
: having flagella
b
: shaped like a flagellum
2
[flagellate entry 3] : of, relating to, or caused by flagellates
flagellate diarrhea

flagellate

3 of 3

noun

: a flagellate protozoan or alga

Example Sentences

Verb some medieval monks believed it was necessary to flagellate themselves in order to keep their desires in check
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
One Peruvian candidate has taken time to talk about his habit of wearing a wire chain, known as a cilice, every day to flagellate himself. Star Tribune, 8 Apr. 2021 All are said to have had affairs with Lucian Freud (was there anyone who didn’t?), three with Arthur Koestler and one with Egypt’s King Farouk (who liked to flagellate her on the steps of the royal palace with his dressing-gown cord). Moira Hodgson, WSJ, 31 Jan. 2020 Muslims were mobilizing; once, Mr. Rizvi visited during Muharram, an annual ritual of mourning, and found her surrounded by pilgrims, flagellating themselves with chains to which razor blades had been attached. Ellen Barry, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2019 Tech companies have self-flagellated a lot on these issues. Frank Bajak, SFChronicle.com, 14 Oct. 2019 Tech companies have self-flagellated a lot on these issues. Frank Bajak, SFChronicle.com, 14 Oct. 2019 Tech companies have self-flagellated a lot on these issues. Frank Bajak, SFChronicle.com, 14 Oct. 2019 Tech companies have self-flagellated a lot on these issues. Frank Bajak, SFChronicle.com, 14 Oct. 2019 Tech companies have self-flagellated a lot on these issues. Frank Bajak, SFChronicle.com, 14 Oct. 2019
Adjective
Aiden needs neither hair shirt nor whip to self-flagellate, and Simone writes of depression with a visceral ache. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 11 Nov. 2021 How small is too small for someone with a shrinking fetish?), Gupta and Gelula begin to self-flagellate, blaming themselves for being too lazy to do research or for stumbling into some ridiculous malapropism. Sean Malin, Vulture, 4 Oct. 2021 These are rotating, helical appendages which act as propellers, so flagellate bacteria are more mobile than those lacking such equipment. The Economist, 16 Jan. 2021
Noun
Instead of rejoicing at the opportunity to live their life, play games, and watch movies, many of those left behind self-flagellate and sink into a destructive sense of guilt for being more fortunate than others. Vlad Ned, Wired, 21 Mar. 2022 The flushing was ordered after three of 11 samples of the Lake Jackson's water tested positive for the deadly flagellate. CBS News, 7 Oct. 2020 With the possible exception of medicine, no other profession self-flagellates (and self-congratulates) over ethics like journalism. Dan Sweeney, Sun-Sentinel.com, 23 Apr. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flagellate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Latin flagellatus, past participle of flagellare, from flagellum, diminutive of flagrum whip; perhaps akin to Old Norse blaka to wave

Adjective

New Latin flagellatus, from flagellum

Noun

New Latin Flagellata, class of unicellular organisms, from neuter plural of flagellatus

First Known Use

Verb

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flagellate was circa 1623

Dictionary Entries Near flagellate

Cite this Entry

“Flagellate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flagellate. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

flagellate 1 of 3

verb

flag·​el·​late ˈflaj-ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce flagellate (audio)
flagellated; flagellating
flagellation
ˌflaj-ə-ˈlā-shən
noun

flagellate

2 of 3

adjective

flag·​el·​late
ˈflaj-ə-lət,
-ˌlāt;
flə-ˈjel-ət
1
a
or flagellated
ˈflaj-ə-ˌlāt-əd
: having flagella
b
: shaped like a flagellum
2
: of, relating to, or caused by flagellates

flagellate

3 of 3

noun

like 2
 How to pronounce flagellate (audio)
: a protozoan or alga having flagella

Medical Definition

flagellate 1 of 2

adjective

1
a
or flagellated : having flagella
b
: shaped like a flagellum
2
: of, relating to, or caused by flagellates
flagellate diarrhea

flagellate

2 of 2

noun

: a flagellate protozoan or alga

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