flex one's muscles

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flex one's muscles

  1. To tense and bend one's flexor muscles.
  2. (figuratively) To show off one's strength or skills.
    • 2010, "Choppy waters", The Economist, 21 Jan 2010:
      But at a time of a growing perception in the West that China is flexing its muscles [...], countries closer to China’s shores also worry that it might be getting more assertive.
    • 2011 September 27, Alistair Magowan, “Bayern Munich 2 - 0 Man City”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Gomez's goals were his 10th and 11th of the season but only Hart's excellence prevented that total being extended, as the four-time European Cup winners flexed their muscles.