flail

verb
ADVERB
desperately, helplessly, wildly

She ran along, her arms flailing wildly.

He flailed around helplessly in the water, shouting ‘I can't swim!’

Flail is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑arm, ↑leg

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flail — Flail, n. [L. flagellum whip, scourge, in LL., a threshing flail: cf. OF. flael, flaiel, F. fl[ e]au. See {Flagellum}.] 1. An instrument for threshing or beating grain from the ear by hand, consisting of a wooden staff or handle, at the end of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flail — flā(ə)l adj exhibiting abnormal mobility and loss of response to normal controls used of body parts damaged by paralysis, injury, or surgery <flail joint> * * * (flāl) exhibiting abnormal or paradoxical mobility, as flail joint, flail… …   Medical dictionary

  • flail — (n.) implement for threshing grain, c.1100, perhaps from an unrecorded O.E. *flegel, which probably represents W.Gmc. *flagil (Cf. M.Du., Low Ger. vlegel, O.H.G. flegel, Ger. flegel), a borrowing of L.L. flagellum winnowing tool, flail, from L.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • flail — [flāl] n. [ME fleil < OFr flaiel & OE * flegel, both < L flagellum, a whip, scourge: see FLAGELLATE] a farm tool consisting of a free swinging stick tied to the end of a long handle, used to thresh grain vt., vi. 1. to thresh with a flail 2 …   English World dictionary

  • flail — ► NOUN ▪ a tool or machine with a swinging action, used for threshing. ► VERB 1) swing wildly. 2) (flail around/about) flounder; struggle. ORIGIN Latin flagellum little whip …   English terms dictionary

  • flail — index beat (strike) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • flail — [v] beat, strike bash, batter, club, flog, hit, knock, lash, maltreat, pummel, slug, smack, smash, sock, thrash, thwack, whale; concepts 189,246 …   New thesaurus

  • Flail — For other uses, see flail (disambiguation). An example of a grain flail A flail is an agricultural tool used for threshing to separate grains from their husks. It is usually made from two or more large sticks attached by a short chain; one stick… …   Wikipedia

  • flail — I. noun Etymology: Middle English fleil, flail, partly from Old English *flegel (whence Old English fligel), from Late Latin flagellum flail, from Latin, whip & partly from Anglo French flael, from Late Latin flagellum more at flagellate Date:… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • flail — [[t]fle͟ɪl[/t]] flails, flailing, flailed 1) V ERG If your arms or legs flail or if you flail them about, they wave about in an energetic but uncontrolled way. His arms were flailing in all directions... [V n] He gave a choked cry, flailed his… …   English dictionary

  • flail — /flayl/, n. 1. an instrument for threshing grain, consisting of a staff or handle to one end of which is attached a freely swinging stick or bar. 2. a similar instrument used as a weapon of war. v.t., v.i. 3. to beat or swing with or as if with a …   Universalium

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