Definition of flog in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /flɒɡ/

verb (flogs, flogging, flogged)

[with object]
1Beat (someone) with a whip or stick as a punishment: the men had been flogged and branded on the forehead (as noun flogging) public floggings
More example sentences
  • He handed it to one of the pirates in order to take the real whip he intended on flogging her with.
  • Was it Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers who had flogged him, beaten him, and crucified him?
  • It's not like the old days when they'd flog someone one day and get beaten the next.
whip, scourge, flagellate, lash, birch, switch, tan, strap, belt, cane, thrash, beat, leather, tan/whip someone's hide, give someone a hiding, beat the living daylights out of
1.1 informal Promote or talk about (something) repetitively or at excessive length: the issue has been flogged to death already
More example sentences
  • The story suffocates under endless speechifying and analysis in which each point is flogged to death.
  • However, there's a danger that a successful formula be flogged to death.
  • A marketing department gets stuck on one promotional idea and just flogs it to death.
2British informal Sell or offer for sale: he made a fortune flogging beads to hippies
More example sentences
  • But my point is, how many tickets do you need to flog to sell out a rugby ground - 10-15,000?
  • Last year retailer Argos hit the headlines when it tried to flog Sony TVs for just £3.
  • UK resellers selling cheap Microsoft software are not necessarily flogging pirated goods.
3 [no object, with adverbial of direction] British informal Make one’s way with strenuous effort: by 10 pm we had flogged up the slopes to Grey Crag
More example sentences
  • Again he tries to sail too close to the direction the wind, and the sail just flogs.


[in singular] British informal
An arduous climb or struggle: a long flog up the mountainside


flog a dead horse

British Waste energy on a lost cause or unalterable situation.
Example sentences
  • It is his desire to gallop across the Cote d' Azure every morning that has concentrated his mind on avoiding a situation developing wherein he might be flogging a dead horse.
  • I ran it for six years in the 1980s but I soon realised I was flogging a dead horse.
  • It's true that blogging can sometimes seem like flogging a dead horse.


Late 17th century (originally slang): perhaps imitative, or from Latin flagellare 'to whip', from flagellum 'whip'.

  • Originally a slang word, which might be from Latin flagellare ‘to whip’, or could just have been formed in imitation of the noise of a whip being wielded. Flog meaning ‘to sell’ started life as military slang, probably during the First World War. See also horse

Words that rhyme with flog

agog, befog, blog, bog, clog, cog, dog, fog, grog, hog, Hogg, hotdog, jog, log, nog, prog, slog, smog, snog, sprog, tautog, tog, trog

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: flog

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.