verb (used with object)
to strip off the skin or outer covering of.
to criticize or scold with scathing severity.
to deprive or strip of money or property.

before 900; Middle English flen, Old English flēan; cognate with Middle Dutch vlaen, Old Norse flā

flayer, noun
unflayed, adjective

2. castigate, excoriate, upbraid, chew out.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flay (fleɪ)
1.  to strip off the skin or outer covering of, esp by whipping; skin
2.  to attack with savage criticism
3.  to strip of money or goods, esp by cheating or extortion
[Old English flēan; related to Old Norse flā to peel, Lithuanian plešti to tear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. flean "to skin" (strong verb, pt. flog, pp. flagen), from P.Gmc. *flakhanan (cf. M.Du. vlaen, O.N. fla), from PIE root *plak- (cf. Gk. plessein "to strike"). Related: Flayed; flaying.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Beside her on the mattress, a fire-flayed corpse: the remains of her last lover.
Their sigil is a flayed man, coming from their tradition of flaying captives.
If they were tattooed, their skin was flayed for use as decorative lampshades.
Rope was hauled in and flayed down in bins or directly into the catamaran floats.
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