Lash out


Senior Member
Hello everybody,

I'm wondering what "lash out" means in this context:

"As he's sinking deeper and deeper into the water, his hands lash out in a final sudden movement as his body becomes still."

Does this mean that he moves his hands very fast through the water before his body becomes still?

Thank you in advance.
  • Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    When I think of 'lash out' I think of a single, sudden, harsh movement. Not really repeated, rapid movements.

    Oddly enough, If I read "lashing around/about" I would think of repeated, rapid movements.

    'lash out' to me = 1 movement
    'lash(ing) about/around' to me = many, rapid movements


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I would usually expect 'lash out' to refer to movement directed at someone else. What else is happening? Is someone else around? Has he fallen in by himself?

    And we want the source, of course. ;)


    Senior Member
    Thank you very much to all of you for your help!

    --> Cagey: no, there's nobody else in the water, it's just a description of a scene of a man drowning... (not from me, I took the sentence from "A Single Man" by Christopher Isherwood)
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