Middle English Dictionary Entry

flēn v.(2)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To strip the skin from (a person, a part of someone's body); also, to tear the skin to shreds (by blows, scourging, etc.); to strip (the skin from the flesh); ~ of, to flay off (the skin); ~ out of skin, to flay (someone) completely; also fig.; (b) ~ quik, to skin (someone) alive, to strip off (the skin) while the victim lives; (c) ~ of berd, to remove (one's, someone's) beard with the skin.
(a) Surg. To remove or peel back the skin from (part of the body); also, to expose (something) by cutting and drawing back the flesh; (b) to circumcise.
(a) To break the skin or the mucous membrane of (a part of the body); abrade, bruise, excoriate; to tear or corrode (the skin); (b) med. of a depilatory, medication, etc.: to cause the skin or mucosa to peel or slough off; ?also, of the skin: to suffer from such peeling; (c) med. and pathol. p. ppl. flain, flawin, of the skin or mucosal lining: peeling, flaking, sloughing off.
(a) To remove the hide from (an animal, part of an animal), to skin; to peel back (an animal's skin); (b) fleing knif, a skinning knife.
To remove the rind or hull of (something), to peel, to hull; ~ the flint, to skin a flint; ?to scrape (leaves)~ the rind, to reveal superficially.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1475(?c1425) Avow.Arth.(Tay 9:French&Hale)111 : Ȝaw þar such him neuyr more: I sette my hed opon a store Butte-giffe he flaey ȝo alle fawre, Þat griselich geste!
  • Note: New spelling.
    Note: Corrected to 'flaey' from 'slaey.' Ed. ambiguous.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?a1425(?a1350) Castleford Chron.(Göt Hist 740)22294 : Rictor..bad him [Arthur] als in comandement..Fla his berd with deligens And send it flane to his presens..And if þat Arthur wald noght swa At his bidyng his berd sone fla, Nedelinges him and him biod fight.
  • Note: New sense: transitive example for sense 1.(c).
    Note: Gloss: to remove (one's) beard with the skin.
    Note: [L Hic..mandeuerat arturo ut barbaram suam diligenter excoriaret atque excoriatam sibi dirigeret..Sin autem, prouocabat eum ad prelium.]--notes per MLL