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

At a spiritual retreat organized by the school, the boys have fun acting out a flagellation depicted in a painting in one of the bedrooms. Tim Parks, Harper's magazine, "Murder Italian Style," 19 Aug. 2019 The most dramatic incident Albinati relates from his school days involves some bullies whipping a weaker boy, as in a rite of flagellation. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "Sex and Power in “The Catholic School”," 19 Aug. 2019 Their participation in the flagellation of Cathay is a reminder that their ultimate loyalty is to the party. The Economist, "Why China’s assault on Cathay Pacific should scare all foreign firms," 22 Aug. 2019 Begin aggressive self-flagellation for choosing a bad karaoke song. Claire Friedman, The New Yorker, "Things to Do During Your Karaoke Song’s Too Long Instrumental Interlude," 31 July 2019 Sale used his postgame interview as a study in self-flagellation. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "First Chris Sale, then David Price, these pitched battles have got to stop," 15 July 2019 Does the Whitney, or Kanders, think this bit of self-flagellation will do anything except make the museum’s leadership look like fools? Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Museum Happenings: Protesters Stage a Die-In in NYC, and Students Accuse Staff of Racism in Boston," 25 June 2019 The self-flagellation was due to his rumored stepping out on the mother of his child with an Instagram model named Summer Bunni, which resulted in Cardi announcing the end of their engagement last week. Vogue, "Was Cardi B, or Her Publicist, in on Offset's "Surprise" Appearance at Her Show?," 17 Dec. 2018 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

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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Statistics for flagellation

Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

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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 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

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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