muscle

noun, often attributive
mus·​cle | \ˈmə-səl \

Definition of muscle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

2a : muscular strength : brawn

b : effective strength : power political muscle

muscle

verb
muscled; muscling\ ˈmə-​s(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of muscle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to move or force by or as if by muscular effort muscled him out of office

intransitive verb

: to make one's way by brute strength or by force

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Examples of muscle in a Sentence

Noun

the muscles of the arm an athlete with bulging muscles He pulled a muscle playing tennis. She has a strained muscle in her back. She started lifting weights to build muscle. She doesn't have the muscle to lift something so heavy.

Verb

They muscled the heavy boxes onto the truck. They muscled the furniture up the stairs. He muscled through the crowd. They muscled into line behind us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The suite of features is collectively named Dyno Carry and is intended to make the packs fit better and adjust more easily as your load changes and your muscles fatigue. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "First Impressions: The North Face’s 2019 Gear," 11 July 2018 As the busiest book-cover model in the game, Baca has a few secrets about keeping his pores as on point as his muscles. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "The World’s Busiest Romance Cover Model on His Skin-Care Routine," 10 July 2018 To keep your eye muscles from wearing out, ophthalmologists recommend the 20-20-20 rule. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "The Scary Way Blue Light From Your Phone Can Affect Your Eyes and Vision," 6 July 2018 Their muscles are strong, but their mind has to be stronger. Jill Colvin, The Seattle Times, "Trump praises service members during charity dinner in W.Va.," 3 July 2018 It’s also why beached whales quickly find themselves in danger: On land, a whale’s bulk damages their muscles and releases dangerous amounts of a protein called myoglobin that can cause their kidneys to fail. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "Today’s Whales Are Huge, But Why Aren’t They Huger?," 27 June 2018 The system is meant to make sure that big beer manufacturers can’t use their muscle with retailers to push out smaller beer brands. Kyle Arnold, OrlandoSentinel.com, "7 ways Orlando's craft beer brewing scene is changing in 2018," 26 June 2018 San Antonio bodybuilding champ Zachary Tagle flexes his Instagram muscle with more than 15,000 followers of @zach_the_trainer. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Instagram star juggles fitness, fashion and Army duty," 14 June 2018 In a small number of cases, though, symptoms like fatigue, pain, cognitive impairment, and joint and muscle discomfort can persist for at least six months after treatment. Kate Sheridan, SELF, "Here’s Exactly What to Do if a Tick Bites You," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Four minutes in, Portugal won a corner, and when the ball was pumped into the box, Ronaldo muscled free of his marker and planted a stooping header high into the net. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "The Defining Moment of Another World Cup Game Belongs to Cristiano Ronaldo," 20 June 2018 Santana, up next and facing a right-hander in Paul Sewald, shrugged off an 0-for-3 day at the plate to that point by muscling a two-RBI double down the right-field line to get Milwaukee back into the lead. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Mets 7: Timely hitting makes the difference in series victory," 27 May 2018 Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund is also muscling into the market. Fortune, "This Is London's Hottest Property — Thanks to Amazon," 13 July 2018 The figure, wrapped in a swirl of billowing cloak, is powerfully muscled. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Out of the shadows and into the light: 'Chiaroscuro Woodcut' is a sleeper hit at LACMA," 5 July 2018 Small of stature, thin but muscled, Cristiano, beautifully incarnated by Aristides de Sousa, cuts an unprepossessing figure. João Dumans, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Araby,’ the Story of a Wandering Laborer," 21 June 2018 Firms with little lending expertise have also muscled into the same space. The Economist, "China’s tighter regulation of shadow banks begins to bite," 14 June 2018 But in a country where corruption and malfeasance have already infiltrated the highest levels of politics and business, opportunists are also muscling in on houses of worship. Washington Post, "This Brazilian pastor said he was saving souls. Police say he ran a slave-labor ring.," 14 Apr. 2018 The staple of this argument seems to be that against both Uruguay and the Red Devils, Les Blues out-thought and out-muscled their opponents with defensive fortitude, whilst retaining the attacking bite that their glut of forwards portend to. SI.com, "Why Didier Deschamps Is Still a Problem Regardless of Leading France to the World Cup Final," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'muscle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of muscle

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1819, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for muscle

Noun

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

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Learn More about muscle

Statistics for muscle

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for muscle

The first known use of muscle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for muscle

muscle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of muscle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a body tissue that can contract and produce movement

: physical strength

: power and influence

muscle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of muscle (Entry 2 of 2)

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

: to move forward by using physical force

muscle

noun
mus·​cle | \ˈmə-səl \

Kids Definition of muscle

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

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

muscle

noun, often attributive
mus·​cle | \ˈməs-əl \

Medical Definition of muscle 

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

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 sense 1, antagonist sense a, synergist sense 2

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