verb (used with object)
- to gain weight: He realized to his dismay that he had fleshed out during the months of forced inactivity.
- to add details to or make more complete: She fleshed out her proposal considerably before presenting it to the committee for action.
Origin of flesh
Word Origin for flesh
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.
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."
press the flesh
Shake hands and mingle with people, especially when running for public office. For example, The candidate went through the crowd, pressing the flesh. [1920s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with flesh
- flesh and blood
- flesh out
- go the way of all flesh
- in person (the flesh)
- make one's flesh creep
- neither fish nor fowl (flesh)
- pound of flesh
- press the flesh
- spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
- thorn in one's flesh