flex

1 of 3

verb

flexed; flexing; flexes

transitive verb

1
: to bend especially repeatedly
2
a
: to move muscles so as to cause flexion of (a joint)
b
: to move or tense (a muscle) by contraction
3
: use, demonstrate
flexing her skills as a singer

intransitive verb

1
: bend
2
informal
a
: to talk in a boastful or aggressive way
"Bronze" is one of the most straightforward new tracks: a boastful and insidiously dark song that sees him flexing about his many wins.Raisa Bruner
often used with on to indicate the person, group, etc. at whom the talk is directed
Hip-hop has never just been about selling drugs, flexing on haters, and threatening enemies, as many like to portray it.Aaron Williams
… he … went searching for criticism, then tried to flex on a random criticizer.Ashley Feinberg
"… And if President Trump is going to continue to flex on China, whether it's with tariffs, whether it's just talking tough and tweeting tough, that still draws a very stark contrast between himself and the Democratic Party. …"Mattie Duppler
b
: to make an ostentatious display of something : show off
While tons of influencers love to flex on Instagram via designer bags and other luxury splurges, others are all about that perfect high-low balance …Bella Gerard
often used with on to indicate the person, group, etc. at whom the display is directed
It's in-your-face branding that is all about flexing on your friends in their more common, more conventional limousines.Max Finkel

flex

2 of 3

noun (1)

plural flexes
1
: an act or instance of flexing or bending
[Trae] Young finished with 22 points, seven assists and two steals—and a muscle flex after the game-winner.Chris Vivlamore
2
: flexibility, pliancy
The … fillet blade has a nice flex to it.Matt Foster
3
informal : an act of bragging or showing off
Monster (1994) was R.E.M.'s weird flex: an over-the-top rock album saturated with distortion, propelled by power chords and guitar feedback, and voiced by singer Michael Stipe's newly found enthusiasm.David Gill

flex

3 of 3

noun (2)

plural flexes
chiefly British
: an electric cord
Phrases
flex one's muscles
: to demonstrate one's strength
an exaggerated need to flex his political musclesJ. P. Lash

Examples of flex in a Sentence

Verb He flexed the muscles of his right arm. a material that flexes easily
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
After his fifth triple, which came off a no-look, between-the-legs pass from Steph Curry, Green flexed both his arms while jogging back. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 9 Apr. 2024 The American Idol season 1 alumnus is flexing his vocal chops as the voice of Cat Burglar on the Disney cartoon Superkitties, playing the four-legged villain on the run from a fuzzy band of good guys. Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 6 Apr. 2024 But she's steadily flexed her power in the caucus and her popularity within the Republican party base, and now sits on the House Oversight Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Brian Bennett, TIME, 2 Apr. 2024 The GOP fundraiser comes as the Biden campaign continues to flex its fundraising muscles in recent weeks, adding to its financial advantage over Trump and the RNC. Jacob Rosen, CBS News, 29 Mar. 2024 The 27-nation bloc is flexing new regulatory powers acquired under the Digital Services Act, a sweeping set of regulations that took effect last year with the aim of cleaning up big online platforms and keeping users safe, under threat of hefty fines. Kelvin Chan, Quartz, 14 Mar. 2024 The ongoing life of the art left at Oceanwide Plaza is far more uncertain, as the city flexes its authority to take some control of the property. Steve Appleford, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024 Curl the weights upward by flexing your wrists, bringing the dumbbells toward your body. Dana Santas, CNN, 1 Apr. 2024 Meanwhile, the second selfie showed Wade flexing her bicep while wearing a blue sports bra, backwards baseball cap and jogging bottoms. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 25 Mar. 2024
Noun
Is there a bigger flex on an Awards season red carpet than wearing a look straight off the runway? José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 11 Mar. 2024 Below are the best watch flexes from this year’s SAG Awards. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 26 Feb. 2024 Material that flexes to ease the removal of the pot is ideal. Kenneth Setzer, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 In the Cascade Mountains, on the West Coast of the United States, a cougar flexes its tail. Natasha Frost, New York Times, 10 Dec. 2023 Rocking an orange bucket hat, red jersey and jeans, Ocean flexes, bops his head and sways side-to-side in the new clip, clearly vibing out to the chill song, whose dreamy lyrics are hard to make out. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 8 Dec. 2023 This would be a considerable flex of Samsung’s AI capabilities and an easy-to-understand use case that consumers can relate to. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 No less effective for artistic expression, just shorter-lasting than the big guns, shaving sprays and stickers were easy street art flexes. Jonathan Rowe, SPIN, 31 Oct. 2023 But for the most part, before the development of modern mechanical refrigeration in the 19th century, a steady supply of ice out of season could be obtained only by flexes of power. Ligaya Mishan Esther Choi, New York Times, 22 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flex.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

borrowed from Latin flexus, past participle of flectere "to cause to go in a different direction, bend, curve," of uncertain origin

Noun (1)

derivative of flex entry 1

Noun (2)

short for flexible cord

First Known Use

Verb

circa 1521, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

circa 1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flex was circa 1521

Dictionary Entries Near flex

Cite this Entry

“Flex.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flex. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

flex

verb
ˈfleks
1
: to bend especially over and over
2
a
: to move muscles so as to cause flexion of
b
: to move or tense (a muscle) by contraction

Medical Definition

flex

transitive verb
1
: to bend especially repeatedly
2
a
: to move muscles so as to cause flexion of (a joint)
stretching and flexing his knees
b
: to move or tense (a muscle or muscles) by contraction
flexed their biceps

More from Merriam-Webster on flex

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