[ flens ]

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).

Origin of flense

1805–15; <Danish flense or Dutch flensen
  • Also flench [flench], /flɛntʃ/, flinch.

Other words from flense

  • flenser, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use flense in a sentence

  • And so saying, the sailor returned to the operation, thus temporarily suspended,—the flensing of the shark.

    The Ocean Waifs | Mayne Reid
  • It wanted but a little while of sunset, when the sailor and his young comrade had finished flensing the shark.

    The Ocean Waifs | Mayne Reid
  • The large purchase-blocks used by whalers to cant the whales round under the process of flensing.

    The Sailor's Word-Book | William Henry Smyth
  • A misspelling of cant-purchase, or one used to turn a whale round during the operation of flensing.

    The Sailor's Word-Book | William Henry Smyth
  • When we had got the baleen inboard, however, the more disagreeable work of “flensing” began.

    Swept Out to Sea | W. Bertram Foster

British Dictionary definitions for flense


flench (flɛntʃ) or flinch (flɪntʃ)

/ (flɛns) /

  1. (tr) to strip (a whale, seal, etc) of (its blubber or skin)

Origin of flense

C19: from Danish flense; related to Dutch flensen

Derived forms of flense

  • flenser, flencher or flincher, noun

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