1) It is used most commonly to describe the action of skinning an animal.

1659 if any butcher gash or cut any hide of ox, bull, steer or cow in fleaing, forfeit 6/8, Beverley

1674 fouer peeces of mutton and some shred suet all newly killed and some of the wooll left upon the meat not well fleyed, Bolton by Bowland

1740 a sheep which was flea’d and the skin taken away, Idle. It also meant to pare or remove the top sods in peat-getting: 1608 we do payne Isack Croslay for flieing of flaghts, Langfield

1635 no person shall flee ground for turves and leave itt ungraven, Slaithwaite.

spellings flee fleer
dates 1608 1635 1659 1674 1740

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