Definition of flay in English:


Syllabification: flay
Pronunciation: /flā


[with object]
  • 1Peel the skin off (a corpse or carcass): one shoulder had been flayed to reveal the muscles
    More example sentences
    • His carcass was also flayed, the skin torn into pieces and sold as souvenirs.
    • A young man is suspended naked from a tree, prior to being flayed alive for daring to make music more harmonious than Apollo's.
    • Employees who do not comply will be flayed alive and slowly chopped into little pieces.
    skin, strip the skin off; Medicine excoriate
  • 1.1Peel (the skin) off a corpse or carcass: she flayed the white skin from the flesh
    More example sentences
    • He would flay the flesh of unresurrected corpses and use the skin to make lampshades and chair covers and clothes.
    • Acerbus ripped him apart, flaying his skin and then breaking his bones.
    • Had the child before her been real, she would have flayed the skin from her bones with a thousand hungry spiders.
  • 1.2Whip or beat (someone) so harshly as to remove their skin: Matthew flayed them viciously with a branch
    More example sentences
    • One held him in a firm grasp, while the guards watched from the near; and Viro faced the butte, his back naked, as the woman flayed him again and again with a horse-whip.
    • The enemy stood shocked as the heavy weapon flayed him open, and he fell to the ground.
    • They should flog him and flay him if they so desire.
  • 1.3Criticize severely and brutally: he flayed the government for not moving fast enough on economic reform
    More example sentences
    • Where I part company with many of the American critics who have flayed the film, is in their assumption that this is a thriller whose subject is murder, and which fails to deliver suspense before the killer is unmasked.
    • Could a professional game critic ever make the transition to game designer without having the games he/she produces flayed alive by the gaming press?
    • If this is something he has started doing because he is captain (remember, he was flayed in the 2003 World Cup for doing it), then it is a very curious development.



More example sentences
  • It was an infusion of sulphur and gold, two things flayers could not stand.
  • That flayer has a sense of humor if he stuffed him in the very work that this guard came for.
  • He jumped and kicked the flayer square in the face, rolled to kill his speed, and managed to keep a firm grip on Kioshi and avoid getting gored by both her sword and the flayer's claws.


Old English flēan, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch vlaen.

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