View synonyms for fleece


[ flees ]


  1. the coat of wool that covers a sheep or a similar animal.
  2. the wool shorn from a sheep at one shearing.
  3. something resembling a fleece:

    a fleece of clouds in a blue sky.

  4. a fabric with a soft, silky pile, used for warmth, as for lining garments.
  5. the soft nap or pile of such a fabric.

verb (used with object)

, fleeced, fleec·ing.
  1. to deprive of money or belongings by fraud, hoax, or the like; swindle:

    He fleeced the stranger of several dollars.

  2. to remove the fleece of (a sheep).
  3. to overspread, as with a fleece; fleck with fleecelike masses:

    a host of clouds fleecing the summer sky.


/ fliːs /


  1. the coat of wool that covers the body of a sheep or similar animal and consists of a mass of crinkly hairs
  2. the wool removed from a single sheep
  3. something resembling a fleece in texture or warmth
  4. sheepskin or a fabric with soft pile, used as a lining for coats, etc
  5. a warm polyester fabric with a brushed nap, used for outdoor garments
  6. a jacket or top made from such a fabric


  1. to defraud or charge exorbitantly; swindle
  2. another term for shear

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Other Words From

  • fleecea·ble adjective
  • fleeceless adjective
  • fleecelike adjective
  • fleecer noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fleece1

before 1000; Middle English flees, Old English flēos, flȳs; cognate with Middle Dutch vlies, Middle High German vlius, German Vlies

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fleece1

Old English flēos ; related to Middle High German vlius , Dutch vlies fleece, Latin plūma feather, down

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Example Sentences

This looks like a normal crewneck sweater, but it’s made from Polartec Power Air, a fleece material that sheds few fibers and moves easily when layered under other garments.

Often called microplastics, these fibers come from washing fleece and nylon fabrics.

This soft, snuggly, ankle-length fleece robe might help—it’s made from 330 GSM microfiber fleece to warm you up.

This fleece has been my go-to cozy layer after crisp fall runs.

I gave up on fleeces a few years ago, because most brands made theirs too thin, so they weren’t very warm and eventually wore out.

I lie and nod my head yes while wiping the tears on my gray fleece sleeve.

But rather than receive practical assistance from the WWP, he got a branded fleece beanie.

They could be pajama bottoms, sweats, fleece kind of things.

He tweeted this picture of himself giving Harry a 'royal fleece'.

But he soon discovers that his newfound clout came with a fleece attached.

Watch took charge of it at once, pressing his warm body against the frosty fleece, and licking its face and feet to warm them.

Dealers in wool, acting as selling agents for owners, and buying agents for fleece merchants of Berry.

Then he shoved the weapon into Denton's hand, and hurried him over the shingle with the remark, 'Now chuck off the fleece, Peter.

In the sheep, it may be returned in its fleece, its carcass, or its progeny; and in the swine only by its progeny and flesh.

Fig. 20 is a spirited cut of a variety of the Merino without dewlap, and with a long and somewhat open fleece.


Related Words

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More About Fleece

What does fleece mean?

Fleece is the outer coat of wool that covers a sheep, goat, llama, or similar animal, as in Wool made from a sheep’s fleece can be scratchy, but wool from llama’s fleece is soft and buttery.

Fleece can also mean the wool collected from these animals or fabric made from it, as in Sheep farmers depend on getting good prices for recently cut fleeces to keep their farms going. 

Related to these senses, you can use fleece as a verb to mean shearing, or cutting, the wool off a sheep, as in The farmer’s son spent all morning fleecing the flock of sheep. 

Fleece also refers to fabrics or garments made from the fleece of an animal or a fabric that resembles the texture of a fleece. Coats and jackets made with polyester with a soft, silky pile are commonly referred to as fleeces.

Finally, fleece is commonly used to mean cheating or swindling a person out of money, as in I was fleeced out of a hundred dollars this morning by a fake insurance salesman.  

Example: Children always love touching the soft fleece of the llamas at the petting zoo.

Where does fleece come from?

The first records of fleece come from before the year 1000. It ultimately comes from the Old English flēos and is related to a variety of forms in other languages from the German Vlies.

Humans have been tending sheep since at least 5000 BCE, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that the history of fleece goes back pretty far. Wool has been used for warm clothing for nearly as long and has been a highly desired commodity throughout human history.

While the sheep may not be big fans of being sheared, veterinarians advise farmers to fleece their sheep to prevent possible health issues caused by overgrown coats of hair. For this reason, sheep will often be fleeced regularly even if the owner doesn’t intend to sell the wool.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to fleece?

  • fleeceable (adjective)
  • fleeceless (adjective)
  • fleecelike (adjective)
  • fleecer (noun)

What are some synonyms for fleece?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fleece

What are some words that often get used in discussing fleece?

How is fleece used in real life?

Due to a tragic lack of sheep farmers on social media, fleece is most commonly used to refer to clothing or as a synonym for cheat or swindle.

Try using fleece!

Fleece is the coat of hair cut off of a:

A. cat
B. moose
C. sheep
D. dog