Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.
To ‘flail’ means to wave or move your arms, legs, or whole body in a wild, unpredictable way. The word implies that the person making such an action is not fully in control of their emotions, and are typically either overcome with anger or panic. The word can also be used in a figurative sense to refer to something out of control or struggling desperately.
I couldn’t hear what was being said in the boss’s office, but it was clear he was furious because his arms were flailing wildly as he spoke.
Brenda’s business continues to flail and will probably go under soon. Hardly surprising when you consider how poorly run it is.
Mike’s clearly flailing about for a strategy to counteract his competition as nothing forceful or cogent has been put forward yet.