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flesh

[flesh] /flɛʃ/
noun
1.
the soft substance of a human or other animal body, consisting of muscle and fat.
2.
muscular and fatty tissue.
3.
this substance or tissue in animals, viewed as an article of food, usually excluding fish and sometimes fowl; meat.
4.
fatness; weight.
5.
the body, especially as distinguished from the spirit or soul:
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
6.
the physical or animal nature of humankind as distinguished from its moral or spiritual nature:
the needs of the flesh.
7.
8.
living creatures generally.
9.
a person's family or relatives.
10.
Botany. the soft, pulpy portion of a fruit, vegetable, etc., as distinguished from the core, skin, shell, etc.
11.
the surface of the human body; skin:
A person with tender flesh should not expose it to direct sunlight.
verb (used with object)
13.
to plunge (a weapon) into the flesh.
14.
Hunting. to feed (a hound or hawk) with flesh in order to make it more eager for the chase.
Compare blood (def 16).
15.
to incite and accustom (persons) to bloodshed or battle by an initial experience.
16.
to inflame the ardor or passions of by a foretaste.
17.
to overlay or cover (a skeleton or skeletal frame) with flesh or with a fleshlike substance.
18.
to give dimension, substance, or reality to (often followed by out):
The playwright wrote pretty good characters, but the actors really fleshed them out.
19.
to remove adhering flesh from (hides), in leather manufacture.
20.
Archaic. to satiate with flesh or fleshly enjoyments; surfeit; glut.
Verb phrases
21.
flesh out,
  1. to gain weight:
    He realized to his dismay that he had fleshed out during the months of forced inactivity.
  2. to add details to or make more complete:
    She fleshed out her proposal considerably before presenting it to the committee for action.
Idioms
22.
in the flesh, present and alive before one's eyes; in person:
The movie star looked quite different in the flesh.
23.
pound of flesh, something that strict justice demands is due, but can only be paid with great loss or suffering to the payer.
24.
press the flesh, Informal. to shake hands, as with voters while campaigning:
The senator is busy as ever pressing the flesh on the campaign trail.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English flesc, Old English flǣsc; cognate with Old Frisian flēsk, Old High German fleisk (German Fleisch), Old Norse flesk bacon
Related forms
fleshless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pound of flesh
  • The tax collectors agreed to take their pound of flesh in easy, low payments.
  • To give the various special interest groups time to pay off politicians for their pound of flesh.
  • Seriously, wait until the intellectual property crowd weighs in on having their designer pound of flesh.
  • Some indebted businessmen have done a runner, abandoning their homes and firms rather than parting with their pound of flesh.
  • Don't worry, you will still get your pound of flesh.
  • But it's not about the money, or a pound of flesh, it's about personal ego and pride.
  • Remove mining from the equation and the militia will exact its pound of flesh from the locals by other means.
  • It is not for us to backdoor that process by now extracting our pound of flesh for this spectrum.
British Dictionary definitions for pound of flesh

pound of flesh

noun
1.
something that is one's legal right but is an unreasonable demand (esp in the phrase to have one's pound of flesh)
Word Origin
from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (1596), Act IV, scene i

flesh

/flɛʃ/
noun
1.
the soft part of the body of an animal or human, esp muscular tissue, as distinct from bone and viscera related adjective sarcoid
2.
(informal) excess weight; fat
3.
(archaic) the edible tissue of animals as opposed to that of fish or, sometimes, fowl; meat
4.
the thick usually soft part of a fruit or vegetable, as distinct from the skin, core, stone, etc
5.
the human body and its physical or sensual nature as opposed to the soul or spirit related adjective carnal
6.
mankind in general
7.
animate creatures in general
8.
one's own family; kin (esp in the phrase one's own flesh and blood)
9.
a yellowish-pink to greyish-yellow colour
10.
(Christian Science) belief on the physical plane which is considered erroneous, esp the belief that matter has sensation
11.
(modifier) (tanning) of or relating to the inner or under layer of a skin or hide: a flesh split
12.
in the flesh, in person; actually present
13.
make one's flesh creep, (esp of something ghostly) to frighten and horrify one
14.
(informal) press the flesh, to shake hands, usually with large numbers of people, esp in political campaigning
verb
15.
(transitive) (hunting) to stimulate the hunting instinct of (hounds or falcons) by giving them small quantities of raw flesh
16.
to wound the flesh of with a weapon
17.
(archaic or poetic) to accustom or incite to bloodshed or battle by initial experience
18.
(tanning) to remove the flesh layer of (a hide or skin)
19.
to fatten; fill out
Word Origin
Old English flǣsc; related to Old Norse flesk ham, Old High German fleisk meat, flesh
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 pound of flesh

flesh

n.

Old English flæsc "flesh, meat," also "near kindred" (a sense now obsolete except in phrase flesh and blood), common West and North Germanic (cf. Old Frisian flesk, Middle Low German vlees, German Fleisch "flesh," Old Norse flesk "pork, bacon"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Proto-Germanic *flaiskoz-.

Figurative use for "animal or physical nature of man" (Old English) is from the Bible, especially Paul's use of Greek sarx, which yielded sense of "sensual appetites" (c.1200). Flesh-wound is from 1670s; flesh-color, the hue of "Caucasian" skin, is first recorded 1610s, described as a tint composed of "a light pink with a little yellow" [O'Neill, "Dyeing," 1862]. An Old English poetry-word for "body" was flæsc-hama, literally "flesh-home."

v.

1520s, "to render (a hunting animal) eager for prey by rewarding it with flesh from a kill," with figurative extensions, from flesh (n.). Meaning "to clothe or embody with flesh," with figurative extensions, is from 1660s. Related: Fleshed; fleshing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pound of flesh in Medicine

flesh (flěsh)
n.
The soft tissue of the body of a vertebrate, covering the bones and consisting mainly of skeletal muscle and fat.


flesh'y adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pound of flesh in Culture

pound of flesh definition


Creditors who insist on having their “pound of flesh” are those who cruelly demand the repayment of a debt, no matter how much suffering it will cost the debtor: “The bank will have its pound of flesh; it is going to foreclose on our mortgage and force us to sell our home.” The expression is from The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare.

pound of flesh definition


A phrase from the play The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare. The moneylender Shylock demands the flesh of the “merchant of Venice,” Antonio, under a provision in their contract. Shylock never gets the pound of flesh, however, because the character Portia discovers a point of law that overrides the contract: Shylock is forbidden to shed any blood in getting the flesh from Antonio's body.

Note: People who cruelly or unreasonably insist on their rights are said to be demanding their “pound of flesh.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pound of flesh

flesh

Related Terms

in the flesh, press the flesh


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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pound of flesh in the Bible

in the Old Testament denotes (1) a particular part of the body of man and animals (Gen. 2:21; 41:2; Ps. 102:5, marg.); (2) the whole body (Ps. 16:9); (3) all living things having flesh, and particularly humanity as a whole (Gen. 6:12, 13); (4) mutability and weakness (2 Chr. 32:8; comp. Isa. 31:3; Ps. 78:39). As suggesting the idea of softness it is used in the expression "heart of flesh" (Ezek. 11:19). The expression "my flesh and bone" (Judg. 9:2; Isa. 58:7) denotes relationship. In the New Testament, besides these it is also used to denote the sinful element of human nature as opposed to the "Spirit" (Rom. 6:19; Matt. 16:17). Being "in the flesh" means being unrenewed (Rom. 7:5; 8:8, 9), and to live "according to the flesh" is to live and act sinfully (Rom. 8:4, 5, 7, 12). This word also denotes the human nature of Christ (John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh." Comp. also 1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 1:3).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with pound of flesh

pound of flesh

A debt whose payment is harshly insisted on, as in The other members of the cartel all want their pound of flesh from Brazil. This expression alludes to the scene in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (4:1) where the moneylender Shylock demands the pound of flesh promised him in payment for a loan, and Portia responds that he may have it but without an ounce of blood (since blood was not promised). [ c. 1600 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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8
11
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