fleece

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fleece / flēs/ • n. 1. the woolly covering of a sheep or goat: as the sheep came on board, we grabbed their long shaggy fleeces | he clutched the ram by two handfuls of thick fleece. ∎  the amount of wool shorn from a sheep in a single piece at one time.2. a thing resembling a sheep's woolly covering, in particular: ∎  a soft warm fabric with a texture similar to sheep's wool, often used as a lining material. ∎  a jacket or other garment made from such a fabric. ∎  Heraldry a representation of a fleece suspended from a ring.• v. [tr.] 1. inf. obtain a great deal of money from (someone), typically by overcharging or swindling them: money that authorities say he fleeced from well-to-do acquaintances.2. fig. cover as if with a fleece: the sky was half blue, half fleeced with white clouds.DERIVATIVES: fleeced adj.

fleece

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fleece sb. OE. flēos = Du., (M)HG. vlies :- WGmc. *fleusa, and OE. flēs (WS. flīes) = MLG. vlüs, MDu. vluus, MHG. vlius :- WGmc. *fleusi, rel. to MLG., MHG. vlūs sheepskin (G. flaus woollen coat) :- *flūsa-; prob. ult. rel. to the base of L. plūma PLUME.
Hence vb. lit. and fig. XVI.