9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[flees] /flis/
the coat of wool that covers a sheep or a similar animal.
the wool shorn from a sheep at one shearing.
something resembling a fleece:
a fleece of clouds in a blue sky.
a fabric with a soft, silky pile, used for warmth, as for lining garments.
the soft nap or pile of such a fabric.
verb (used with object), fleeced, fleecing.
to deprive of money or belongings by fraud, hoax, or the like; swindle:
He fleeced the stranger of several dollars.
to remove the fleece of (a sheep).
to overspread, as with a fleece; fleck with fleecelike masses:
a host of clouds fleecing the summer sky.
Origin of fleece
before 1000; Middle English flees, Old English flēos, flȳs; cognate with Middle Dutch vlies, Middle High German vlius, German Vlies
Related forms
fleeceable, adjective
fleeceless, adjective
fleecelike, adjective
fleecer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fleece
  • Consumers sometimes see planned obsolescence as a sinister plot by manufacturers to fleece them.
  • Gift shop stocked with woolens from alpaca and vicuña fleece.
  • Alpacas are related to camels and llamas, and raised primarily for their soft fleece.
  • Older pupils would fleece younger, less sophisticated ones to get hold of prized cards.
  • And throw in something regressive to fleece those flush working people.
  • Yet occasionally, disreputable attorneys will fleece clients.
  • He, lanky and rumpled in torn jeans and gray fleece sweater, sits on the floor.
  • The ability to fleece taxpayers will always be the foremost challenge.
British Dictionary definitions for fleece


the coat of wool that covers the body of a sheep or similar animal and consists of a mass of crinkly hairs
the wool removed from a single sheep
something resembling a fleece in texture or warmth
sheepskin or a fabric with soft pile, used as a lining for coats, etc
a warm polyester fabric with a brushed nap, used for outdoor garments
a jacket or top made from such a fabric
verb (transitive)
to defraud or charge exorbitantly; swindle
another term for shear (sense 1)
Word Origin
Old English flēos; related to Middle High German vlius, Dutch vlies fleece, Latin plūma feather, down
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fleece

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fleece



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 Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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fleece in the Bible

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.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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