\ 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
c : stock, kindred
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 out museums 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 for flesh

Synonyms: Noun


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Examples of flesh in a Sentence


the flabby white flesh of his belly a disease that causes sores on the flesh

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Remove all of the peel and pith by strips, top to bottom, using the blade of your knife to cut away as little of the juicy flesh as possible. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Artistry, flavor blends are marks of Moroccan," 10 July 2018 Any other Memorial Day weekend would have been bank to bank with sunburned flesh. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Wekiva and Rock Springs Run cure stress with gorgeous gators and hypnotic rain," 1 June 2018 The wind would occasionally blow the stench of whale flesh to shore. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "That time a whale showed up in Baltimore's harbor," 29 May 2018 And the reward for the successful angler goes far beyond a fine, uncrowded day on the water; those sheepshead are some of the finest-eating fish in the bay, with dense, flaky flesh that looks and tastes like blue crab. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Coastal fishing in February can be rewarding," 3 Feb. 2018 Use substantial, meaty legs, with bright, clean flesh. Gabrielle Hamilton, House Beautiful, "Gabrielle Hamilton's Braised Chicken Legs with Shallots and Vinegar," 22 Feb. 2013 Some tattoo their children’s ashes into their flesh. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019 And, since such animals are already raised for their flesh and skin, their use to grow more valuable things should meet with no objection beyond squeamishness. The Economist, "Stem cells and gene editingUsing domestic animals to make human organs," 22 Feb. 2018 All the people at Kanaljorden had been exposed or buried for a period of time, likely until most of their flesh was gone. Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, "8,000-year-old heads on spikes found in Swedish lake," 22 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But once a rendering is close to being fully fleshed out, it can then be transferred to VR — which offers some tantalizing architectural possibilities. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "How architects are using virtual reality to walk through buildings that don't yet exist," 3 July 2018 Last summer Mutoid Man—now fleshed out to a trio with bassist Nick Cageao—released their third record, War Moans (Sargent House). Luca Cimarusti, Chicago Reader, "Spacey metal trio Mutoid Man shreds a little less and leans into pop in its latest music," 3 May 2018 Nvidia fleshed out the board with a 1.43GHz quad-core ARM A57 processor, 4GB of 64-bit LPDDR4 memory, and gigabit ethernet. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia's $99 Jetson Nano Developer Kit brings GPU-supercharged AI smarts to maker projects," 18 Mar. 2019 Waller-Bridge and Comer fleshed out the character from the novellas by Luke Jennings. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "'Killing Eve': The cat and mouse finally meet in BBC's assassin drama," 4 May 2018 That pedigree is strongly represented in the game's form—in fact, Ford and Reiche even had the assistance of Starflight alum Greg Johnson in fleshing out aspects of SC2's design and dialog. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Video: How Star Control II was almost a much more boring game," 27 Dec. 2018 Hand-in-hand with three performances of the opera, beginning April 21, will go two related programs fleshing out the notion of ecstasy in music. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Orchestra striving for operatic ecstasy with Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde' (preview)," 13 Apr. 2018 The overall pattern of the Mueller probe, fleshed out by a large amount of reporting, displays a series of trails between Russia and the Trump campaign. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Are Some Conservatives Convinced Mueller Is Going to Clear Trump?," 8 Apr. 2018 From there, flesh it out with a daily log, which Carroll considers the workhorse of bullet journaling. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "What Is a Bullet Journal? Everything You Need to Know Before You BuJo," 30 Jan. 2019

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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More Definitions for flesh



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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More from Merriam-Webster on flesh

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flesh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flesh

Spanish Central: Translation of flesh

Nglish: Translation of flesh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flesh for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flesh

What made you want to look up flesh? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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