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a lash of scorpions
1. literal A whipping implement made of scorpion tails—an ancient method of punishment. I was watching this old movie, and one character started beating another with a lash of scorpions! I couldn't believe the one guy was getting hit with scorpion tails—eek!
2. figurative An extremely harsh punishment. If my parents find out that I borrowed their car last night without their permission, I am going to get a lash of scorpions!
1. To physically swing or strike out at someone or something, usually unexpectedly. That ornery old cat will lash out at you if you get too close.
2. To react with sudden, intense anger. Hey, don't lash out at me, I'm just the messenger! I couldn't help but lash out when I heard about the latest printing mishap.
by an eyelash
By an extremely short or slim margin (of distance, time, or another measure). They're just about to close the gates! It looks like we made the flight by an eyelash. The race was neck and neck till the very end, but Sally won it by an eyelash.
have a lash at (something)
To try something (often for the first time). Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. A: "Do you want to try driving my car, to see how you like it?" B: "Yeah, sure, I'll have a lash at it." I don't usually like hot tea, but it's so cold out that I had a lash at it today.
1. To writhe, flail, or fling around wildly, violently, or uncontrollably. One of the cables came loose in the wind and lashed around across the deck of the boat. The toddler started lashing around in the midst of his tantrum.
2. To swing or flail something around wildly, violently, or uncontrollably. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lash" and "around." The lion tamer lashed his whip around to impress the audience. The wind lashed the flag around all night long, but it never came unfixed from the flagpole.
1. To writhe, flail, or fling around wildly, violently, or uncontrollably. One of the cables came loose in the wind and lashed about across the deck of the boat. The toddler started lashing about in the midst of his tantrum.
2. To swing or flail something around wildly, violently, or uncontrollably. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lash" and "about." The lion tamer lashed his whip about to impress the audience. The wind lashed the flag about all night long, but it never came unfixed from the flagpole.
1. To beat, flail, or strike violently or wildly against someone or something. The waves lashed against the side of our boat during the storm.
2. To swing, whip, or flail something against someone or something. In this usage a noun or pronoun is used between "lash" and "against." The wind kept lashing the branches of the tree against my window.
lash at (someone or something)
1. To beat, flail, or strike someone or something violently or wildly. The wind lashed at our windows so hard that I thought they might actually break at one point. The warden lashed at the prisoners with a whip for failing to move quickly enough.
2. To criticize, rebuke, or react to someone or something with sudden, intense anger. Often worded as "lash out at (someone or something)." The boss lashed at the intern for mixing up the documents for the year-end audit. The senator lashed out at reporters for continuing to question his role in the controversy.
lash back (at someone or something)
To retaliate against someone or something with an intense physical or verbal attack. The protesters lashed back at the police with a volley of bricks and rocks. The senator lashed back at critics of his tax-reform proposal during a press conference this afternoon.
1. Of rain, to fall very heavily. It's been lashing down for the last hour or so. It's dry at the moment, but with how dark those clouds are it looks like it could lash down at any moment.
2. To tie or strap someone or something down very tightly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lash" and "down." Make sure to lash that timber down before we start driving, or else it will all spill out onto the road. They lashed the prisoner down to the table and began torturing him to extract information.
lash down on (someone or something)
Of rain, to fall very heavily on someone or something. I love the sound of rain lashing down on the roof of the house at night. It's dry at the moment, but those dark clouds look like they could lash down on us at any moment.
1. To attack someone or something, either physically or verbally, with intense and sudden anger or aggression. The boss lashed into the intern for mixing up the documents for the year-end audit. The farmer lashed into the mule with his whip.
2. To begin eating something very hastily, greedily, or voraciously. The boss lashed into the intern for mixing up the documents for the year-end audit. The farmer lashed into the mule with his whip.
lash (someone, something, or oneself) to (something)
To tie or bind someone, something, or oneself to something. They lashed the prisoner to the chair to begin interrogating him for answers. We began lashing everything to the floor so nothing would break during the hurricane. The captain lashed himself to the wheel of the ship to make sure it stayed on course through the intense storm.
1. To tie or bind two people or things together. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lash" and "together." The criminals began lashing hostages together so no one would be out of their sight. Make sure to lash these wooden beams together so they don't roll around the truck while we're driving.
2. To assemble or create something very hastily or carelessly; to cobble something together. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lash" and "together." I had completely forgotten about the presentation I had to give, so I just lashed together some sales charts and reports generated by computer. You can tell that he lashed the essay together at the last second.
lash against something
[for something, such as wind or water] to beat or whip heavily against something. The angry waves lashed against the hull of the boat, frightening the people huddled inside. The wind lashed against the house and kept us awake all night.
lash at someone or something
to thrash or beat someone or something violently. The rain lashed at the windows. The mule driver lashed at his beasts with his whip.
lash back (at someone or something)
to strike or fight back against someone or something—physically or verbally. Randy lashed back at his attackers and drove them away. If you threaten Fred, he'll lash back.
lash down on someone or something
[for rain] to beat down on someone or something. The wind and rain lashed down on us. The rain lashed down on the young plants and pounded them into the soil.
lash into (someone or an animal)
to attack someone or an animal—physically or verbally. Dad lashed into my brother, who had smashed up the car again. Walter lashed into the cat for tearing the upholstery.
lash into something
to begin to eat something with vigor. Mary lashed into the huge ice cream sundae, and ate almost the whole thing. The workers lashed into their lunches and did not say a word until they had finished.
lash out (at someone or something)and lash out (against someone or something)
to strike out in defense or attack—physically or verbally. Amy was angry with Ed and lashed out at him just to show who was boss. She was so angry with him that she just lashed out against him. Gretchen was fed up with the cat and lashed out savagely in her anger.
lash someone or something down
to tie someone or something down. The villain lashed Nell down to the railroad tracks. He lashed down the innocent victim. Lash that cask down so it doesn't wash overboard.
lash someone or something to something
to tie someone or something to something. The boys lashed one of their number to a tree and danced around him like savages. Abe lashed the cask to the deck. Frank lashed himself to the mast.
lash something about
to whip or fling something about violently. The big cat lashed its tail threateningly. The strong wind lashed the tall grass about.
lash something together
to tie something or things together. Let's lash these logs together and make a raft. Lash two or three of the poles together to make them stronger.
Make a sudden blow or fierce verbal attack. For example, The mule lashed out with its hind legs, or After listening to Dad's criticism of his driving, Arthur lashed out at him. [Second half of 1500s]
have a lash at somethingAUSTRALIAN, INFORMAL
If you have a lash at something, you attempt to do it. He had been climbing for years and decided to have a lash at Everest.
by an eyelashby a very small margin.
have a lash atmake an attempt at; have a go at. Australian & New Zealand
1. To aim a sudden blow; strike: The horse lashed out with its hind legs.
2. To make a scathing verbal or written attack on someone or something: The mayor lashed out at her critics during the interview. The defendant lashed out when asked about his arrest record.