From Old French flaiel, flael, flayau, inherited from Latin flagellum.


  • IPA(key): /fle.o/
  • (file)


fléau m (plural fléaux)

  1. A flail, either tool or weapon.
  2. A scourge; a curse, a calamity or a plague.
    • 2020 June 19, “Stopper la haine sur Internet”, in Le Monde[1]:
      La haine en ligne est un fléau d’une immense ampleur.
      Online hatred is a scourge of immense scale.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  3. (mechanics) The beam of a mechanical balance.

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