verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- any flexible, insulated electric cord; an electric cord or extension cord.
- Slang. an elastic band, as a garter.
QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!
Origin of flex1
Words nearby flex
Definition for flex (2 of 3)
Origin of flex2
Definition for flex (3 of 3)
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does flex mean?
Where does flex come from?
The term flex has been used as Black slang for “showing courage” or “showing off” since the 1990s. Rapper Ice Cube notably used it in his 1992 song, “It Was a Good Day”: “Saw the police and they rolled right past me / No flexin’, didn’t even look in a n*gga’s direction as I ran the intersection.”
Flex comes from flexing one’s muscles, i.e., to show how physically strong you are, or, originally, how you are ready for a fight. This became a metaphor for someone displaying in some way that they think they’re better than others.
Flex came into mainstream popularity in 2014 thanks to hip-hop due’s Rae Sremmurd’s “No Flex Zone.” The song refrains: “No flex zone, No flex zone / They know better, they know better.” This no flex zone is apparently a space where you can be true to yourself, not feeling compelled to show off, judge, and put others down, i.e., hating on people and being fake.
Flex was further popularized by Rich Homie’s Quan’s 2015 song, “Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh)” which features the lyrics: “Cause I got a check, n*ggas wanna flex / Ain’t gotta flex but I got it, ooohh.”
Flex also gained prominence in spring 2018 through its frequent use by Lil Tay, a young Canadian internet celebrity who called herself “the youngest flexer of the century.” Later that fall, the expression weird flex, but OK—a snarky response to when someone boasts about something considered odd or embarrassing—went viral.
How is flex used in real life?
Flex typically carries a negative connotation, as nobody likes a showoff or braggart. Flex can imply one isn’t being genuine (in slang, being real) or is forcing a sense of superiority (in slang, fronting).
Okay this is an AirBus A380 sized flex. I have no choice in the matter. pic.twitter.com/1uqdEwpPG1
— LaCarlford Tarth (@DammitCARL) May 20, 2020
Flex is also often used in negative constructions, e.g., a call for no flexing. It can also be a noun (instance of showing off) or a verb (to show off). Stunt is a similar slang term.
just wanted to flex pic.twitter.com/1lkZ73OPN5
— aman ☥ (@ayemayen_) December 16, 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for flex
The moon is believed to be a geologically active world, like the Earth, because the strong tidal flexing heats its rocky, metallic interior and keeps it partially molten.The Four Most Promising Worlds for Alien Life in the Solar System|Gareth Dorrian|September 24, 2020|Singularity Hub
This thick bag is made of a durable fabric with a waterproof finish and has an outer surface that flexes to the shape of the contents within, making it a good choice for comprehensive protection of irregularly shaped items.
Similarly, as a first-time CEO, I often have to flex muscles I’ve never used before.Book recommendations from Fortune’s 40 under 40 in finance|Rachel King|September 8, 2020|Fortune
Omnicom CEO John Wren, who has already cut 6,100 jobs, told analysts last month that each one of the holding group’s individual offices has action plans in place that “flex up and down” in response to ad spending.
They’re starting to flex that muscle, with demands from athletes in the Pac 12 and Big Ten conferences that mix health and safety with racial and economic justice, combined with a threat not to play if their demands aren’t met.
Companies like Delta, Apple, and Nike flex their political muscle on behalf of gay rights.
When it comes to tangible gifts, the sharing economy really starts to flex its holiday disrupting muscle.
He flipped the two women onto their stomachs, flex-cuffing their wrists.
You wear a FitBit Flex, Jawbone Up, or Nike Fuel Band on your wrist, and go about your normal day.
Unlike Bond, constantly thwarting Soviet villains, Burlington never got a chance to flex its muscle.
She saw again the splendid flex of his side and powerful thigh.Wayside Courtships|Hamlin Garland
He picked it up and flexed it a bit, as a man might flex a rapier to test its material.Islands of Space|John W Campbell
The Wall Street man lifted one of the hands, tried to flex the arm that held it.The Onslaught from Rigel|Fletcher Pratt
A few airy flex-strung bridges had been completed to link them, but there was still an extensive boat traffic.The Sensitive Man|Poul William Anderson
He paused long enough to flex a presentable bicep with pardonable pride.The Honorable Percival|Alice Hegan Rice