flag·​el·​la·​tion ˌfla-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce flagellation (audio)
: the act or practice of flagellating
especially : the practice of a flagellant

Examples of flagellation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the evenings, back to flagellation. Dennard Dayle, The New Yorker, 22 July 2022 Justification, not evisceration or flagellation. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Jan. 2023 These excerpts show us a different side of the singer, one prone to self-flagellation and aware of her need to treat her health challenges — both mental and physical — as friends instead of adversaries. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Nov. 2022 In the same period, another method for treating impotence was flagellation. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 23 Mar. 2012 This and other occasions when Mr. Bazerman admits his own complicity might look like harsh self-flagellation: After all, his errors were all understandable and often driven by good motives. Julian Baggini, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2022 And the self-flagellation doesn't preclude a little self-flattery, either—especially in the home stretch, when all the hard lessons at last give way to an act of budding-artist integrity. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 3 Nov. 2022 Soloist Elliot Hammans oscillates between majestic technique and contorted self-flagellation, thrusting his chest, pounding the stage or repeatedly assuming a Christ-like posture of pronated knees and arms outstretched. Lauren Warnecke, Chicago Tribune, 30 Sep. 2022 So does self-flagellation, which Jude and Marek ecstatically perform. New York Times, 13 June 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flagellation.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flagellation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near flagellation

Cite this Entry

“Flagellation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flagellation. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
flag·​el·​la·​tion ˌflaj-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce flagellation (audio)
: the practice of a flagellant


2 of 2 noun
: the formation or arrangement of flagella

More from Merriam-Webster on flagellation

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