Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

muscle

play
noun, often attributive mus·cle \ˈmə-səl\

Simple Definition of muscle

  • : a body tissue that can contract and produce movement

  • : physical strength

  • : power and influence

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of muscle

  1. 1 a :  a body tissue consisting of long cells that contract when stimulated and produce motion b :  an organ that is essentially a mass of muscle tissue attached at either end to a fixed point and that by contracting moves or checks the movement of a body part

  2. 2 a :  muscular strength :  brawn b :  effective strength :  power <political muscle>

Examples of muscle in a sentence

  1. the muscles of the arm

  2. an athlete with bulging muscles

  3. He pulled a muscle playing tennis.

  4. She has a strained muscle in her back.

  5. She started lifting weights to build muscle.

  6. She doesn't have the muscle to lift something so heavy.



Origin and Etymology of muscle

Middle English, from Latin musculus, from diminutive of mus mouse — more at mouse


First Known Use: 14th century


2

muscle

verb mus·cle

Simple Definition of muscle

  • : to move (something) by using physical strength and force

  • : to move forward by using physical force

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of muscle

muscled

muscling

play \ˈmə-s(ə-)liŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to move or force by or as if by muscular effort <muscled him out of office>

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to make one's way by brute strength or by force

Examples of muscle in a sentence

  1. They muscled the heavy boxes onto the truck.

  2. They muscled the furniture up the stairs.

  3. He muscled through the crowd.

  4. They muscled into line behind us.



1913

First Known Use of muscle

1913



MUSCLE Defined for Kids

muscle

play
noun mus·cle \ˈmə-səl\

Definition of muscle for Students

  1. 1 :  a tissue of the body consisting of long cells that can contract and produce motion

  2. 2 :  an organ of the body that is a mass of muscle tissue attached at either end (as to bones) so that it can make a body part move

  3. 3 :  strength of the muscles <He doesn't have the muscle to lift that.>



History for muscle

The English word muscle came from a Latin word musculus that means literally “small mouse.” The movement of the muscles under the skin probably made someone think of a lively mouse.


Medical Dictionary

muscle

play
noun , often attributive mus·cle \ˈməs-əl\

Medical Definition of muscle

  1. 1:  a body tissue consisting of long cells that contract when stimulated and produce motion—see cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, striated muscle

  2. 2:  an organ that is essentially a mass of muscle tissue attached at either end to a fixed point and that by contracting moves or checks the movement of a body part—see agonist 1, antagonist a, synergist 2



Illustration of muscle



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up muscle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

different from the usual or normal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate accommodate acommadate acommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ