\ ˈflesh How to pronounce flesh (audio) \

Definition of flesh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the soft parts of the body of an animal and especially of a vertebrate especially : the parts composed chiefly of skeletal muscle as distinguished from internal organs, bone, and integument
b : the condition of having ample fat on the body cattle in good flesh
c : skin
2a : edible parts of an animal
b : flesh of a mammal or fowl eaten as food
3a : the physical nature of human beings the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak — Matthew 26:41 (King James Version)
4a : human beings : humankind
b : living beings
5 : a fleshy plant part used as food also : the fleshy part of a fruit
6 Christian Science : an illusion that matter has sensation
7 : facts or details that provide substance to something Her careful documentation puts the necessary flesh on much that has been merely speculation …— John H. Crook
in the flesh
: in person and alive


fleshed; fleshing; fleshes

Definition of flesh (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to initiate or habituate especially by giving a foretaste
2 archaic : gratify
3a : to clothe or cover with or as if with flesh broadly : to give substance to usually used with out flesh out a plan
b : to make fuller or more nearly complete used with outmuseums fleshing out their collections with borrowed works
4 : to free from flesh

intransitive verb

: to become fleshy often used with up or out

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Synonyms & Antonyms for flesh

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of flesh in a Sentence

Noun the flabby white flesh of his belly a disease that causes sores on the flesh
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These artifacts help historians flesh out the life and times of the earliest English settlers of the region, especially Chaplin. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Recently discovered trove of artifacts ‘changing the narrative of Connecticut history’," 16 Nov. 2020 Cut the brussels sprouts in half and boil them quickly to soften, then pop the chestnut flesh out of the shell before roasting. Ben Fogel, Sunset Magazine, "These Brussels Sprouts Recipes Will Make the Underrated Crucifer Your Favorite Vegetable," 12 Nov. 2020 Score the skin of the breast in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to expose the flesh, then generously season with salt and pepper. Washington Post, "Orange-sriracha glazed duck and roasted fruit are a stunning sheet-pan dinner combination," 10 Nov. 2020 Marvel as the flesh breaks apart, as the layers of flavor present themselves in waves. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Flavorful, exceptional culinary rhythm: Find it at Tabla Winter Park," 5 Nov. 2020 Gogol’s world is populated by impersonators, counterfeits, and confidence men, voids made flesh. Gary Saul Morson, The New York Review of Books, "An Incandescent Inanity," 3 Nov. 2020 Now, the 50-year-old is adding flesh to a strategy refresh started with the board last year -- even amid the tussle with ex-CEO Peter Moyo. Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg.com, "Old Mutual CEO Reboots Strategy After Brawl With Predecessor," 3 Nov. 2020 Now, core the persimmon and peel until you’re left with just the flesh. Christian Reynoso, SFChronicle.com, "Add levity and a little crunch to gooey brownies with this persimmon and date version," 30 Oct. 2020 The rest were all face-to-face, press-the-flesh, meet-and-greet events. Los Angeles Times, "Adaptation, determination, luck: How four small businesses are surviving the pandemic," 29 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These ones from Artisanal Kitchen Supply are excellent for a giftee that’s just starting to flesh out their kitchen setup or is starting to gain an interest in cooking. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, "The 25 best gifts you can get from Bed Bath & Beyond," 11 Nov. 2020 To flesh out the project, Promise House provided blank journals to encourage the students to write about their feelings. Holly Haber, Dallas News, "Promise House volunteers start book club for homeless and at-risk children," 26 Oct. 2020 To flesh out the package, there are also shorts devoted to more obscure DC characters, including Sgt. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Batman: Death in the Family' lets viewers decide Robin's interactive fate," 13 Oct. 2020 Leaders of the ruling Communist Party are meeting later this month to flesh out the details of this medium-term economic blueprint, which will cover 2021 to 2025. Chong Koh Ping, WSJ, "Carbon Pledge Lifts Wind and Solar Stocks in China," 22 Oct. 2020 Over the course of 2017, Trump would flesh out these instincts in a series of set-piece speeches. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "Donald Trump’s Great Reveal," 20 Oct. 2020 But additional steps would have to be taken to flesh out the initiative before the new board could operate, which could take as much as 18 months after the vote. oregonlive, "New police oversight group, new taxes for parks funding, new uses of water customer money among local ballot measures seeking Portland voter approval," 20 Oct. 2020 If voters pass the charter amendment proposed by Measure B, the City Council would then pass an ordinance to flesh out the exact rules by which the commission would operate. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Measure B: San Diego voters have choice of new police commission, existing review board," 20 Oct. 2020 That committee green-lighted many of these proposals in 2019, giving district officials and an outside consultant a year to flesh them out and hear from school board members and community members. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS wants to change how it assigns kids to schools. What to know," 7 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flesh.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flesh


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for flesh


Middle English, from Old English flǣsc; akin to Old High German fleisk flesh and perhaps to Old English flēan to flay — more at flay

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Time Traveler for flesh

Time Traveler

The first known use of flesh was before the 12th century

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Statistics for flesh

Last Updated

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flesh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flesh. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for flesh


How to pronounce flesh (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flesh

: the soft parts of the body of an animal or person
: the skin of a person
: parts of an animal used as food


\ ˈflesh How to pronounce flesh (audio) \

Kids Definition of flesh

1 : the soft parts of an animal's or person's body
2 : the part of an animal that is eaten : meat
3 : a soft edible plant part an apple's white flesh


\ ˈflesh How to pronounce flesh (audio) \

Medical Definition of flesh

: the soft parts of the body of an animal and especially of a vertebrate especially : the parts composed chiefly of skeletal muscle as distinguished from visceral structures, bone, and integuments — see goose bumps, proud flesh

Other Words from flesh

fleshed \ ˈflesht How to pronounce fleshed (audio) \ adjective

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