- the coat of wool that covers a sheep or a similar animal.
- the wool shorn from a sheep at one shearing.
- something resembling a fleece: a fleece of clouds in a blue sky.
- a fabric with a soft, silky pile, used for warmth, as for lining garments.
- the soft nap or pile of such a fabric.
verb (used with object), fleeced, fleec·ing.
- to deprive of money or belongings by fraud, hoax, or the like; swindle: He fleeced the stranger of several dollars.
- to remove the fleece of (a sheep).
- to overspread, as with a fleece; fleck with fleecelike masses: a host of clouds fleecing the summer sky.
- the coat of wool that covers the body of a sheep or similar animal and consists of a mass of crinkly hairs
- the wool removed from a single sheep
- something resembling a fleece in texture or warmth
- sheepskin or a fabric with soft pile, used as a lining for coats, etc
- a warm polyester fabric with a brushed nap, used for outdoor garments
- a jacket or top made from such a fabric
- to defraud or charge exorbitantly; swindle
- another term for shear (def. 1)
Old English fleos, from West Germanic *flusaz (cf. Middle Dutch vluus, Dutch vlies, Middle High German vlius, German Vlies), probably from PIE *pleus- “to pluck,” also “a feather, fleece” (cf. Latin pluma “feather, down,” Lithuanian plunksna “feather”).
1530s in the literal sense of “to strip a sheep of fleece;” 1570s in the figurative meaning “to cheat, swindle,” from fleece (n.). Related: Fleeced; fleecing.