(third-person singular simple present flays, present participle flaying, simple past and past participle flayed)
- (UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To cause to fly; put to flight; drive off (by frightening).
- (UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To frighten; scare; terrify.
- (intransitive, UK dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) To be fear-stricken.
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 *flaugijaną (“to let fly, cause to fly”), causitive of Proto-Germanic *fleuganą (“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 - (us-flaugjan, “to cause to fly”).
(third-person singular simple present flays, present participle flaying, simple past flayed, past participle flayed or flain (obsolete))
- to strip skin off
- to lash
From Old English flean from Proto-Germanic *flahaną. Cognate with Old Norse flá (“to flay”), whence Danish flå.