verb (used with object), flensed, flens·ing.
  1. to strip the blubber or the skin from (a whale, seal, etc.).
  2. to strip off (blubber or skin).
Also flench [flench] /flɛntʃ/, flinch.

Origin of flense

1805–15; < Danish flense or Dutch flensen
Related formsflens·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for flense


flench (flɛntʃ) or flinch (flɪntʃ)

  1. (tr) to strip (a whale, seal, etc) of (its blubber or skin)
Derived Formsflenser, flencher or flincher, noun

Word Origin for flense

C19: from Danish flense; related to Dutch flensen
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

Word Origin and History for flense

also flench, 1814, from Danish flense, perhaps from PIE root *(s)plei- "to splice, split." Related: Flenser; flensing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper