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 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

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