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Old English fleos, from West Germanic *flusaz (cf. Middle Dutch vluus, Dutch vlies, Middle High German vlius, German Vlies), probably from PIE *pleus- "to pluck," also "a feather, fleece" (cf. Latin pluma "feather, down," Lithuanian plunksna "feather").
1530s in the literal sense of "to strip a sheep of fleece;" 1570s in the figurative meaning "to cheat, swindle," from fleece (n.). Related: Fleeced; fleecing.
To cheat or swindle: get back the money he'd fleeced me out of/ For these traders the function of the outside public speculator is to be fleeced (1577+)
the wool of a sheep, whether shorn off or still attached to the skin (Deut. 18:4; Job 31:20). The miracle of Gideon's fleece (Judg. 6:37-40) consisted in the dew having fallen at one time on the fleece without any on the floor, and at another time in the fleece remaining dry while the ground was wet with dew.