flag·​el·​la·​tion | \ ˌfla-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce flagellation (audio) \

Definition of flagellation

: the act or practice of flagellating especially : the practice of a flagellant

Examples of flagellation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But what is the point of all this flagellation, of self and others, if meanwhile the structures that enable wrongdoing continue to creak and loom, doing business as usual? New York Times, "The Long and Tortured History of Cancel Culture," 3 Dec. 2020 Her triumph over her past imbued her with the authority to turn beleaguered strangers’ private torment into public good and served as testament to a hierarchy of success founded on flagellation. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "Regarding the Pain of Oprah," 10 Aug. 2020 All the self-flagellation was working: one widely cited analysis of online comments found that public sentiment towards Samsung improved following Mr Lee’s apology. The Economist, "Much ado about Samsung No end in sight for Samsung’s legal troubles," 20 June 2020 Sometimes, painful piercings, hook swinging and self-flagellation were offered when patients recovered from illnesses, both mental and physical. Tulasi Srinivas, The Conversation, "India’s goddesses of contagion provide protection in the pandemic – just don’t make them angry," 15 June 2020 And as the actor portrayed Christ's flagellation, one of the film's extras accidentally whipped his back. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Passion of the Christ actor says injuries he suffered on set made film 'beautiful'," 23 Mar. 2020 Hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon are marking the day with rallies, prayers and self-flagellation. Washington Post, "The Latest: 12 killed in Iraq during Ashoura procession," 11 Sep. 2019 Last weekend's Oscar ceremony with rife with performative feminism and corporate self-flagellation, empty acts of atonement from the Academy to compensate for not nominating more films created by women. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "5-star ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ is an instantly iconic work of queer romantic cinema," 12 Feb. 2020 Years of experience had conditioned me to expect self-flagellation after such indulgences. Washington Post, "Breast-feeding is helping me face my decades-long struggle with hating my body," 14 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of flagellation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for flagellation

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Flagellation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flagellation. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for flagellation


flag·​el·​la·​tion | \ ˌflaj-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce flagellation (audio) \

Medical Definition of flagellation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the practice of a flagellant



Medical Definition of flagellation (Entry 2 of 2)

: the formation or arrangement of flagella

More from Merriam-Webster on flagellation

Britannica English: Translation of flagellation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flagellation

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