Definition of flail verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    flail

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//fleɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//fleɪl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they flail
    BrE BrE//fleɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//fleɪl//
     
    he / she / it flails
    BrE BrE//fleɪlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//fleɪlz//
     
    past simple flailed
    BrE BrE//fleɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//fleɪld//
     
    past participle flailed
    BrE BrE//fleɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//fleɪld//
     
    -ing form flailing
    BrE BrE//ˈfleɪlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfleɪlɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] flail (something) (about/around) to move around without control; to move your arms and legs around without control The boys flailed around on the floor. He was running along, his arms flailing wildly.
  2. 2[transitive] flail somebody/something to hit somebody/something very hard, especially with a stick
  3. Word Origin Old English, of West Germanic origin, based on Latin flagellum ‘whip’; probably influenced in Middle English by Old French flaiel or Dutch vlegel.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: flail

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