Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To strip off the skin or outer covering of.
  • transitive verb To strip of money or goods; fleece.
  • transitive verb To whip or lash.
  • transitive verb To assail with stinging criticism; excoriate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Fright; fear.
  • noun A kick; a random blow; a fit of ill humor.
  • To cause to fly; put to flight.
  • To frighten.
  • To be fear-struck.
  • To skin; strip off the skin of: as, to flay an ox.
  • To strip off, in a general sense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To skin; to strip off the skin or surface of

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive, Northern England, Scotland To cause to fly; put to flight; drive off (by frightening).
  • verb transitive, Northern England, Scotland To frighten; scare; terrify.
  • verb intransitive, Northern England, Scotland To be fear-stricken.
  • noun Northern England, Scotland A fright; a scare.
  • noun Northern England, Scotland Fear; a source of fear; a formidable matter; a fearsome or repellent-looking individual.
  • verb to strip skin off
  • verb to lash

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb strip the skin off

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English flen, from Old English flēan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English flayen, flaien, fleien, from Old English *flīeġan ("to cause to fly, put to flight, frighten"; found only in compounds: āflīeġan), from Proto-Germanic *flaugijanan (“to let fly, cause to fly”), causitive of Proto-Germanic *fleuganan (“to fly”), from Proto-Indo-European *plew-k-, *plew- (“to run, flow, swim, fly”). Cognate with Old High German arflaugjan ("to frighten, cause to flee"; whence Middle High German ervlougen ("to put to flight, drive away, expel")), Icelandic fleygja ("to throw away, discard"), Gothic 𐌿𐍃-𐍆𐌻𐌰𐌿𐌲𐌾𐌰𐌽 (us-flaugjan, "to cause to fly").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English flean from Proto-Germanic *flakhanan. Cognate with Old Norse flá ("to flay"), whence Danish flå.

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