a. The coat of wool of a sheep or similar animal.
b. The yield of wool shorn from a sheep at one time.
2. A soft woolly covering or mass.
a. A soft, warm, lightweight, usually synthetic fabric with a deep pile, used primarily for clothing and blankets.
b. A garment, especially a shirt or jacket, made of such fabric.
tr.v. fleeced, fleec·ing, fleec·es
1. To defraud of money or property; swindle.
2. To shear the fleece from.
3. To cover with a fleece or similar covering.
[Middle English fles, from Old English flēos.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.