- An example of flesh is the fat and muscle just under your skin.
- An example of flesh is the part of the strawberry that we eat.
- the soft substance of the body (of a person or animal) between the skin and the bones; esp., the muscular tissue
- the surface or skin of the body: to feel one's flesh crawl
- the flesh of any animal as food; meat; esp., meat other than fish or fowl
- the pulpy or edible part of fruits and vegetables
- the human body, as distinguished from the soul: more than flesh can bear
- human nature, esp. in its sensual aspect
- all living beings, esp. all humankind
- kindred or relatives: now mainly in one's (own) flesh and blood: see phrase at flesh and blood
- the typical color of a white person's skin; ranging from beige or tan to yellowish pink
- Informal plumpness; fat: you've been putting on flesh
Origin of fleshMiddle English from Old English flæsc, akin to German fleisch from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European base an unverified form pl?k-, to tear off from source flay
- to feed (animals) with flesh so as to incite them to hunt or kill
- to prepare for or incite to bloodshed, etc. by a foretaste
- to harden; inure
- to plunge (a weapon) into flesh
- to put flesh on; fatten
- to fill out as if with flesh; realize or make full, as by the addition of details: usually with out
- to remove flesh from (a hide)
in the flesh
- actually present; in person
press the flesh
- a. The soft tissue of the body of a vertebrate, covering the bones and consisting mainly of skeletal muscle and fat: thought the boy needed some more flesh on his bones.b. Such tissue of an animal, used as food: flesh of a cow; fish with white flesh.c. The surface or skin of the human body: goosebumps on my flesh.d. Fatty tissue: “a woman of wide and abundant flesh” ( A.S. Byatt )
- Botany The pulpy, usually edible part of a fruit or vegetable.
- a. The human body: “the thousand natural shocks / That flesh is heir to” ( Shakespeare )b. Sensual appetites: gratification of the flesh.
- Substance; reality: “The maritime strategy has an all but unstoppable institutional momentum behind it … that has given force and flesh to the theory” ( Jack Beatty )
verbfleshed, flesh·ing, flesh·es
- To give substance or detail to; fill out. Often used with out: fleshed out the novel with a subplot.
- To clean (a hide) of adhering flesh.
- To encourage (a falcon, for example) to participate in the chase by feeding it flesh from a kill.
- To plunge or thrust (a weapon) into flesh.
- Archaic To inure (troops, for instance) to battle or bloodshed.
Origin of fleshMiddle English from Old English flǣsc
See also cannibalism.Cannibalism the eating of human flesh generally not for nutritional purposes but for primitive sacramental rites. —cannibalic, cannibalistic, adj. creophagism, creophagy the use of flesh meat for sustenance. — creophagous, adj. omophagia Rare. the eating of raw meat, especially as part of an initiation ritual. —omophagic, adj. sarcophagy Rare. the act, practice, or custom of eating flesh. —sarcophagous, adj.
- The soft tissue of the body, especially muscle and fat.
- The skin of a human or animal.
- (by extension) Bare arms, bare legs, bare torso.
- (archaic) Animal tissue regarded as food; meat.
- The human body as a physical entity.
- (religion) The mortal body of a human being, contrasted with the spirit or soul.
- (religion) The evil and corrupting principle working in man.
- The soft, often edible, parts of fruits or vegetables.
- A yellowish pink colour; the colour of some Caucasian human skin.
(third-person singular simple present fleshes, present participle fleshing, simple past and past participle fleshed)