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noun sin·ew \ˈsin-(ˌ)yü also ˈsi-(ˌ)nü\

Simple Definition of sinew

  • : strong tissue that connects muscles to bones

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sinew

  1. 1 :  tendon; especially :  one dressed for use as a cord or thread

  2. 2 obsolete :  nerve

  3. 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

  1. cutting through bone and sinew

  2. <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 (For a while, "sinew" also meant "nerve," but that usage is obsolete.)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



transitive verb sin·ew

Definition of sinew

  1. :  to strengthen as if with sinews

Circa 1614

First Known Use of sinew

circa 1614

Rhymes with sinew

accrue, achoo, adieu, ado, Agnew, aircrew, airscrew, anew, askew, babu, Baku, bamboo, battu, battue, bayou, bedew, beshrew, bestrew, bijou, boo-boo, boubou, brand-new, breakthrough, burgoo, cachou, can-do, canoe, caoutchouc, Carew, Cebu, Chonju, construe, Corfu, corkscrew, coypu, CQ, cuckoo, curfew, debut, Depew, doo-doo, ecu, endue, ensue, eschew, floor-through, fondue, fordo, Gansu, Gentoo, Gifu, goo-goo, GQ, ground crew, gumshoe, guru, hairdo, hereto, Hindu, home brew, Honshu, horseshoe, how-to, HQ, Hutu, igloo, imbrue, imbue, IQ, jackscrew, K2, Kansu, karoo, Karoo, kazoo, Khufu, kung fu, Kwangju, leadscrew, lean-to, long view, make-do, Matthew, me-too, mildew, milieu, miscue, misdo, muumuu, non-U, old-shoe, one-two, on view, outdo, perdu, Peru, poilu, prau, preview, pursue, purview, ragout, redo, renew, Renfrew, review, revue, rough-hew, run-through, sandshoe, Sardou, see-through, set-to, setscrew, shampoo, skiddoo, snafu, snowshoe, soft-shoe, span-new, subdue, surtout, taboo, Taegu, tattoo, thank-you, thereto, thumbscrew, to-do, too-too, tree shrew, undo, undue, unglue, unscrew, untrue, vatu, vendue, venue, virtu, voodoo, wahoo, walk-through, wherethrough, whereto, who's who, worldview, yahoo, yoo-hoo

SINEW Defined for Kids


noun sin·ew \ˈsin-yü\

Definition of sinew for Students

  1. :  tendon

Medical Dictionary


noun sin·ew \ˈsin-(ˌ)yü, -yə(-w) also ˈsin-(ˌ)ü\

Medical Definition of sinew

  1. :  tendon

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