flex (one's) muscle(s)

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flex (one's) muscle(s)

1. Literally, to contract one's muscles, especially to demonstrate their size and 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 demonstrations. The wealthy business tycoon flexed his muscle to get the charges dropped against his son.
See also: flex

flex one's muscles

Show off one's strength or power, as in The boys love flexing their muscles, or The new department head has decided to flex her muscles. [Early 1900s]
See also: flex, muscle

flex your muscles

or

flex your muscle

COMMON If people or organizations flex their muscles or flex their muscle, they behave in a way that is intended to show that they have power and are considering using it. A pro-democracy movement is starting to flex its muscles. The miners' actions last year seem to have encouraged workers in the oil industry to flex their industrial muscle.
See also: flex, muscle

flex your muscles

give a show of strength or power.
1998 Times Mr Prescott is flexing his muscles and the City is wondering just how far he is prepared to go.
See also: flex, muscle

flex your ˈmuscles

show that you are ready and prepared to use your power, abilities, etc: He’s flexing his muscles, waiting for the day he becomes president.
Athletes flex (= stretch and tighten) their muscles before a race, a fight, a game, etc.
See also: flex, muscle

flex (one's) muscles

Informal
To exhibit or show off one's strength.
See also: flex, muscle
References in periodicals archive ?
Better to sit down and negotiate than to flex muscle and isolate," said Tim Malloy, assistant poll director.
They need to focus on diplomatic talks instead of trying to flex muscle.
But my choice would not have been to flex muscle overseas in the so-called national interest against regimes said to be killing their own people whilst neglecting our own.
Yet it would be better advised to flex muscles towards common enemies, not in the direction of supposed allies.
The post Man City flex muscles as English clubs break spending record appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
For India to flex muscles across the region and have an intercontinental reach, it has a highly expansive and fast growing nuclear and conventional weapons program.
The decision could have been taken in September or in January at the beginning or end of the semester, but the minister just wanted to flex muscles without studying the consequences and for that we ask him to step down," he said.
Why flex muscles over a policy that has been implemented by the other party for the App Store, and has been agreed to by hundreds of app developers?
The GCC forces do not flex muscles or impose a threat on any country, but rather it is a force of stability and peace in the region and the whole world, as it is led by wise peace-loving leaders,' he said.
Stretching and yawning may be a way to flex muscles and joints, increase heart rate, and feel more awake.
The traditionally cold winter weather will flex muscles again and show its full potential after February 22-23.
Brody imposes himself physically on the film, losing his shirt to flex muscles in the climactic showdown, but there is no emotional component to the role and he delivers the leaden dialogue in a monotonous growl.
Brody imposes himself physically on the film, losing his shirt to flex muscles in the climactic showdown, but like his co-stars, is trapped in a thankless two-dimensional role.
Neither does it flex muscles to any great degree, so it follows that it's not going to get the adrenaline pumping.
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.