flag·​el·​la·​tion | \ˌfla-jə-ˈlā-shən \

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

Chidi’s sins are intellectual paralysis and self-flagellation. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "How ‘The Good Place’ Became an Antihero Antidote," 31 Jan. 2018 In the context of the problems that Messi and his teammates are experiencing in Russia, the fact that some of Argentina’s coaching emissaries are also struggling will be seen as just one more excuse for national self-flagellation. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Made in Argentina, and Now Coaching Everywhere at the World Cup," 25 June 2018 Golf is a high form of self-flagellation appreciated only by those who attempt it. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty blog: A nickname changes nothing about the community. Good luck, Anderson.," 11 June 2018 What had been, for the Greeks, a desire for ostentatious success became in medieval Europe a struggle to control the self through prayer and flagellation—to battle inner badness and become pure. Gal Beckerman, The New Republic, "Don’t Blame Phones for Narcissism," 7 May 2018 Suddenly, looking critically at stories that forecast our impending doom at the hands of technology or capitalism or white supremacy became more of an exercise in miserable self-flagellation than of actual intellectual or moral analysis. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Is The Handmaid’s Tale still worth the agony of watching it?," 27 Apr. 2018 Like self-flagellation, the exercise takes on a reverential quality among followers. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "This New Virtual Reality Experience Drops You In Hiroshima Right After It’s Been Bombed," 27 Apr. 2018 The question isn’t about self-flagellation, but about what is whiteness, and what has this done to me? Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Tune-Yards confronts uneasy questions about 'white guilt'," 1 Mar. 2018 Rock still finds room for the funny during his self-flagellation. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Chris Rock rips Trump, police violence, and (mostly) himself in emotional Netflix special," 14 Feb. 2018

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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Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for flagellation

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

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More Definitions for flagellation


flag·​el·​la·​tion | \ˌflaj-ə-ˈlā-shən \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on flagellation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flagellation

Britannica English: Translation of flagellation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flagellation

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