\ ˈfläg How to pronounce flog (audio) \
flogged; flogging

Definition of flog

transitive verb

1a : to beat with or as if with a rod or whip The sailors were flogged for attempting a mutiny.
b : to criticize harshly He was flogged in the press for failing to take action.
2 : to force or urge into action : drive
3a chiefly British : to sell (something, such as stolen goods) illegally flogged their employers' petrol to ordinary motoristsEconomist
b : sell sense 7 traveled by horse, flogging encyclopedias— Robert Darnton flogging wares at the local discount outlet— Ronald Henkoff
c : to promote aggressively : plug flying around the world flogging your movies— Peter Bogdanovich
4 British : steal sense 1

intransitive verb

1 : flap, flutter sails flogging
2 British : to move along with difficulty : slog

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Other Words from flog

flogger noun

Examples of flog in a Sentence

The sailors were flogged for attempting a mutiny. a graphic depiction of a sailor being flogged by the captain for disobeying orders
Recent Examples on the Web Reflexologists manipulate them, and inquisitors flog them. Los Angeles Times, "He was seeking custom-made boots. The journey led to a life deeply touched by love and death and leather," 22 Oct. 2019 Smith-Schuster pedaled his bike to USC’s sand volleyball courts and flogged himself with solo workouts of his own design. Michael Mcknight, SI.com, "Much Ado About JuJu," 4 Sep. 2019 The Roman senator Cicero described visiting Sparta to witness the diamastigôsis, the ancient ritual where Spartan boys were flogged bloody, and sometimes to death, before the altar of Artemis Orthia. Myke Cole, The New Republic, "The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer," 1 Aug. 2019 Story lines were duly flogged: Harris vs. Biden, Beto vs. Buttigieg, The Progressives vs. Everybody. Washington Post, "‘Why do you look so familiar?’: In Detroit, presidential wannabes try to make themselves worth recognizing," 1 Aug. 2019 Economic growth is dragging, trade war pains (especially, but not only, between the U.S. and China) are mounting, and Brexit is the mood-dampener that never seems to end, flogging consumer confidence, in particular. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "It’s a Cruel Summer for Europe’s Discount Airlines—Not Just Because of Boeing," 31 July 2019 Authorities are cracking down on those trying to flog the latest Thomas Piketty or J.K. Rowling at a discount. The Economist, "New ways of selling books clash with France’s old pricing rules," 4 July 2019 But Democrats and the media are flogging the new indictment as evidence that Mr. Acosta somehow acted improperly. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Prosecuting Alex Acosta," 9 July 2019 Women found guilty of violating the country’s sharia laws prohibiting homosexuality risk being flogged, too. Washington Post, "With the help of his boyfriend, a German reporter asked Iran’s foreign minister why the country executes people for being gay," 12 June 2019

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

circa 1676, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for flog

perhaps modification of Latin flagellare to whip — more at flagellate

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Statistics for flog

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for flog

The first known use of flog was circa 1676

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More Definitions for flog


How to pronounce flog (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flog

: to beat or whip (someone) severely


\ ˈfläg How to pronounce flog (audio) \
flogged; flogging

Kids Definition of flog

: to beat severely with a rod or whip

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More from Merriam-Webster on flog

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flog

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flog

Spanish Central: Translation of flog

Nglish: Translation of flog for Spanish Speakers

Comments on flog

What made you want to look up flog? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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