flay

verb
\ ˈflā How to pronounce flay (audio) \
flayed; flaying; flays

Definition of flay

transitive verb

1 : to strip off the skin or surface of : skin The hunter flayed the rabbit and prepared it for cooking.
2 : to criticize harshly : excoriate He was flayed by the media for his controversial comments.
3 : lash sense 1b the wind whipped up to gale fury, flaying his face— Richard Kent

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Examples of flay in a Sentence

her husband flayed her constantly for her incessant shopping flayed their kill right there in the forest, taking both the meat and the skin home

Recent Examples on the Web

Enter the parabalini, sometime stretcher-bearers, sometime assassins, who viciously flayed alive the brilliant Alexandrian mathematician and pagan philosopher Hypatia. Bettany Hughes, New York Times, "How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World," 8 June 2018 Once they were killed, their skins would be flayed. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Archaeologists Discover Temple to Aztec 'Flayed Lord'," 4 Jan. 2019 Future is, of course, no stranger to flaying himself on records. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Cathartic Symphony of Future’s Beast Mode 2," 6 July 2018 In simple frontier language, the budding but unpolished genius quickly demonstrated a unique ability to use embellishment, hyperbole, satire, caricature, parody, mock-flattery, and ridicule to flay bare essential truth. Gregory Crouch, Time, "Mark Twain Claimed He Got His Pen Name From a Riverboat Captain. He May Have Actually Gotten It in a Saloon," 19 June 2018 According to Jaime, Cersei suggested beheading Olenna or flaying her alive and hanging her from the walls of King's Landing, but Jaime talked her out of those options. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3: 12 Things to Know About "The Queen's Justice"," 31 July 2017 One of the most ravishing figures may have been intended for purely medical uses: Alphonse Lami’s 1857 flayed, or écorché, figure. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Real, or Too Real? A Dazzling Show Goes the Way of All Flesh," 22 Mar. 2018 Instead of character development the audience gets torture galore, whether it’s Dominika being doused with freezing water while naked and tied to a chair or a particularly sadistic character flaying someone alive. Stephanie Merry, idahostatesman, "Lawrence makes the most of so-so ‘Red Sparrow’ | Idaho Statesman," 1 Mar. 2018 The critics who flay Ryan as a coward have never understood that his actions are a form of idealism. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Fanatic, Fraud, Factotum: The Rise and Fall of Paul Ryan," 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flay.' 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 flay

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flay

Middle English flen, from Old English flēan; akin to Old Norse flā to flay, Lithuanian plėšti to tear

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Dictionary Entries near flay

flaxweed

flax wheel

flax wilt

flay

F layer

flayflint

fld

Statistics for flay

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for flay

The first known use of flay was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for flay

flay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flay

: to beat or whip (someone or something) in a very violent and severe way

flay

verb
\ ˈflā How to pronounce flay (audio) \
flayed; flaying

Kids Definition of flay

1 : to strip off the skin or surface of
2 : to beat severely

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More from Merriam-Webster on flay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flay

Spanish Central: Translation of flay

Nglish: Translation of flay for Spanish Speakers

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