Definition of flense in English:


(also flench)


[with object]
  • 1Slice the skin or fat from (a carcass, especially that of a whale)

    ‘I flensed and butchered the whale’
    ‘flensing knives’
    • ‘Weighing approximately 30 tons, it took two days to flense the 44-foot long whale.’
    • ‘Japanese workers flense a whale on the deck of a factory ship in the Southern Ocean.’
    • ‘Workmen on the flensing deck of the factory ships, where the blubber and meat is stripped off the animals, quickly realized that two quite different kinds of killer whale were being hauled up the slipway for processing.’
    1. 1.1 Strip (skin or fat) from a carcass.
      ‘the skin had been flensed off’
      • ‘If only my flensing actually did get rid of all the blubber.’
      • ‘Even with all the FDA-mandated testing we have now, the trial lawyers flense the flesh from our bones when anything goes wrong.’
      • ‘He lived with his mum and his nan, two enormous, frightening women, who would often wade into fights to defend their son's honour, which was bloody, often and reminded one of Norwegian whalers flensing their catch of blubber.’
      • ‘I speak at a lot of conferences - two or three a month, sometimes - and the tech-bubble-collapse has really flensed away the fat from these shows.’


Early 19th century: from Danish flensa.