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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 (something) out of shape

To cause something to become misshapen or misaligned. That car accident really flexed my passenger-side door out of shape.
See also: flex, of, out, shape

flexed out of shape

Misshapen or misaligned. Ever since the car accident, my passenger-side door has been flexed out of shape.
See also: flex, of, out, shape
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

flex something out of shape

to bend something out of its normal shape. Don't flex all the hangers out of shape. We need a few in the closet. Who flexed the gate out of shape?
See also: flex, of, out, shape

flexed out of shape

Sl. very angry; bent out of shape. The boss was completely flexed out of shape. I am truly flexed out of shape.
See also: flex, of, out, shape
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

flexed out of shape

mod. very angry; bent out of shape. The boss was completely flexed out of shape.
See also: flex, of, out, shape
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

flex (one's) muscles

Informal
To exhibit or show off one's strength.
See also: flex, muscle
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Any application that will see a moderate (a few hundred) to high (thousands) number of flexing cycles should utilize rolled annealed (RA) base copper rather than electrodeposited (ED) copper.
In our experimental system, we employed flexing motion, as at the wrist, as the external force, and observed no particle penetration in its absence.
In a few trials, subjects reported mentally preparing to move a few seconds before flexing, despite encouragement to make ad lib, spontaneous decisions to move.
This means the flex circuit needs to be designed using dynamic flexing guidelines.
This material can be used to replace flex where the circuit is in a static (i.e., not constantly flexing) situation rather than a dynamic (repeated flex motion) state.
The flexing machines are used to test specially molded samples for resistance to cracking or cut growth by repeated flexing.
* Stiffeners--aluminum or stainless steel--that restrict flexing where components are mounted, to avoid cracking or peeling.