\ 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

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 He was drawn to Freud’s theory of the uncanny, and to Lorca’s notion of duende: a creative force—emergent from flesh, touched by death—that is indifferent to refinement and intellect. Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 But where ancient cats had only flesh-tearing teeth, omnivorous canids had both cutting teeth in front to kill and eat small mammals and flatter molar-like teeth in the back of their mouths used to crush plants, seeds and berries. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 The trailer features Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, and Viggo Mortensen as characters who are living in not-so-distant future where humans have metamorphosed to be a hybrid of flesh and technology. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 14 Apr. 2022 The paintings feature a ghastly pair, each a skull with a body of gray flesh, seemingly at a time when nature has reclaimed the Earth. Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2022 And the flesh of the victim at lower right, mobbed by a school of fish. Jason Farago, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2022 The royal family is swimming in money made from the exploitation of African flesh in a region which is still languishing in poverty due to the same legacies. Kehinde Andrews, CNN, 30 Mar. 2022 Squeeze the pit over the jar to extract the juices from any flesh clinging to the pit. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 28 Feb. 2022 Fish is done when the flesh flakes easily with a fork. Elizabeth Karmel, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For instance, last week the U-T’s Deborah Sullivan Brennan reported on an effort under way by San Diego County to flesh out a framework that provides high-quality jobs as the region switches from fossil fuels to green energy. Charles T. Clarkcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Mar. 2022 And Google continues to flesh out the product with so many other features today. Andy Meek, BGR, 23 Mar. 2022 After moving to New York, finding her base and tribe in Brooklyn, Badu began to flesh out more of Baduizm. Chuck Arnold, Essence, 11 Feb. 2022 Later this month, one of Johnson’s allies, Michael Gove, plans to flesh out the government’s flagship project to spread prosperity to areas in the middle and north of England that feel neglected. Mark Landler, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Jan. 2022 Streaming has become the ideal place for big names like Jackson to bring passion projects, affording them creative freedom and the chance to flesh out stories that would garner less attention as independent films, assuming they get made at all. Brian Lowry, CNN, 11 Mar. 2022 In part, the company is fleshing out its middle-of-the-road offerings to make up for all the Hollywood films that are no longer being licensed to it, as competitors claw back rights to flesh out their own streaming services. David Bloom, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 The company’s last two quarterly reports have emphasized growth in number of customers and orders fulfilled, and an intention to flesh out its payment processing product (JumiaPay) to compete as a standalone service. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 30 Nov. 2021 Chastain and Isaac also used a couples workbook to flesh out their characters' dynamic. Kara Warner, PEOPLE.com, 8 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near flesh



flesh and blood

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Statistics for flesh

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flesh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flesh. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for flesh


\ 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 flesh (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on flesh

Nglish: Translation of flesh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flesh for Arabic Speakers


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