Simple Definition of sinew
: strong tissue that connects muscles to bones
Full Definition of sinew
1 : tendon; especially : one dressed for use as a cord or thread
2 obsolete : nerve
3a : solid resilient strength : power <astonishing intellectual sinew and clarity — Reynolds Price>b : the chief supporting force : mainstay —usually used in plural <providing the sinews of better living — Samuel Pollock>
Examples of sinew in a sentence
cutting through bone and sinew
<the justices displayed great intellectual depth and sinew in writing their opinion on this case>
Did You Know?
Many parts of the body have come to have figurative meanings in English. One can have an eye for interior design, for example, or the stomach for a fight. "Muscle," of course, can mean "strength," and so can "sinew," a word for the tissue that ties muscle to bone - more commonly known as a tendon. (For a while, "sinew" also meant "nerve," but that usage is obsolete.) The use of "sinew" to mean "the chief supporting force" ties into its anatomical function as a stabilizing unit. Sinew derives via Middle English from Old English "seono"; it is also related to Old High German senawa ("sinew") and Sanskrit "syati" ("he binds").
Origin and Etymology of sinew
Middle English sinewe, from Old English seono; akin to Old High German senawa sinew, Sanskrit syati he binds
First Known Use: before 12th century
Definition of sinew
: to strengthen as if with sinews
First Known Use of sinew
Rhymes with sinew
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SINEW Defined for Kids
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