flex muscles

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flex (one's) muscle(s)

1. Literally, to contract one's muscles, especially to demonstrate their size and subsequent strength. He's so vain, flexing his muscles in the mirror whenever he thinks no one is looking. She flexed her muscles and told us not to mess with her brother again.
2. By extension, to demonstrate one's influence, power, or strength. The small but outspoken nation has been flexing its muscles lately, with a wide range of military and ballistics demonstrations. The wealthy business tycoon flexed his muscle to get the charges dropped against his son.
See also: flex

flex (one's) muscles

To exhibit or show off one's strength.
See also: flex, muscle
References in periodicals archive ?
Brody imposes himself physically, losing his shirt to flex muscles in the climactic showdown, but like his co-stars, he sweats and snarls profusely in a thankless two-dimensional role.
KEVIN PIETERSEN, Andrew Flintoff and the rest of the England big-hitters are no doubt looking forward to tonight's first chance to flex muscles and brandish blades in anticipation of next Saturday's Stanford 2020 EUR20m winner-takes-all showdown with the Superstars.
The Dragons are still chucking away hard-earned leads, the Cardiff Blues cannot deliver on the hype, the Scarlets can still run their way down an escape route, and the Ospreys flex muscles the rest can only dream about.
Sakoba's dancers shout, stamp, flex muscles and roll their eyes.
Glam superspies (Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Lui) flash the flesh and flex muscles in sequel without a plot.
The Miami youngster must flex muscles in her back and chest to operate the joints.