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press (the) flesh
Sl. to shake hands. Hey, chum! Glad to press flesh with you! He wanted to press the flesh, but I refused even to touch him.
press (the) flesh(of a celebrity or politician) greet people by shaking hands. informal, chiefly North American
2000 New Yorker Clinton seemed…a figure from the past—a politician made to press the flesh, to give speeches in large halls and negotiate with his opponents in small rooms.
ˌpress (the) ˈflesh(of a famous person or a politician) shake hands with members of the public, especially in order to persuade them to vote for you: The presidential candidates were out on the streets again today, smiling for the cameras and pressing the flesh.
See press the flesh