A martinet is a short, scourge-like (multi-tail) type of whip made of a wooden handle of about 25 cm (10 inches) in length and about 10 lashes of equal, relatively short length. The lashes are usually made of leather, but sometimes soap-stiffened cords are used in place of leather. It is a traditional instrument of physical punishment in France (in French it also meant a similar dusting implement; the type for chastisement was also known as fouet d'enfant, 'child's whip') and other European countries.
The name martinet is also used now, by analogy, in the French BDSM community for the more common flogger (although it should be noted that the flogger usually has many more tails than the martinet). The same happens in German with the term Klopfpeitsche.