Definition of flex one's muscles in US English:

flex one's muscles


  • Give a show of strength or power.

    • ‘Now that Labour is safely back in power, the public sector unions have already started to flex their muscles.’
    • ‘Now they are flexing their muscles, increasingly conscious of their strength and ever more radical in their demands.’
    • ‘They routinely flexed their muscles in the form of politically-motivated strikes, most significantly in the early 1970s when they helped bring down Edward Heath's Conservative government.’
    • ‘So at some stage you have to lay down the law and your kids will see it as you flexing your muscles and being unkind to them but in reality you are just teaching them for the future or protecting them.’
    • ‘But the US regulators are also flexing their muscles and seeking to impose their standards on other markets around the world.’
    • ‘Committees are also flexing their muscles in ways ministers are struggling to predict.’
    • ‘Superpowers flexed their muscles figuratively in the space race and literally at the Olympics.’
    • ‘And who can forget the imperial powers flexing their muscles - Mussolini's Italy invading Ethiopia, Hitler's Germany making its territorial advances in Europe.’
    • ‘History often provides an opportunity for political outfits to flex their muscles and resort to a show of pomp to impress a wavering rank and file.’
    • ‘The so-called ‘dwarfs’ of the EU flexed their muscles at the Athens summit yesterday and insisted their opposition to a permanent and single EU president must be heeded.’