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

Stretch Weekly: Stretch is a class that focuses on stretching and strengthening the muscles of your body. Mary Lou Cruz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Coral Springs area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 But a new Embraer regional jet with similar fuel efficiency started service in April, and larger versions are due to start flying over the next two years, potentially backed by the marketing and customer-support muscle of Boeing. Alastair Gale, WSJ, "The Pressure Is On for Japan’s First Jetliner," 10 July 2018 Build cardiovascular health by challenging the heart and working the muscles of the hips, legs and arms with dance moves. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Daughters of American Revolution install officers," 4 July 2018 The muscles of the larynx generate sound by bringing those cords together, and modifies the pitch of that sound by varying their tension. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "One Sentence With 7 Meanings Unlocks a Mystery of Human Speech," 28 June 2018 The muscle of the fish also showed swelling and even breakdowns, and the hormones that regulate their physiology changed. National Geographic, "Some Rivers Are So Drug-Polluted, Their Eels Get High on Cocaine," 20 June 2018 For the muscles of someone over 80, a week in bed is equivalent to ten years of ageing. The Economist, "Why Britain’s hospitals are waging a war on pyjamas," 14 June 2018 Look for good marbling, the white specs of fat within the muscle of the steak. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 meats to master on the grill: We went back to school to learn the best techniques," 29 May 2018 Covey was using muscles that had gone unused his entire life. Thom Leavy, CBS News, "Colorado teen overcomes disability to walk across stage at graduation," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Cooper was born Stanley Hicks, but changed his name, at some point, to Blaine Cooper — the same name as Jesse Ventura’s muscled, gun-toting commando character in the 1987 action film, Predator. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Bundyville Chapter One: A War in the Desert," 15 May 2018 The same person who hits the floor for loose balls, takes a charge in the paint, muscles her way to rebounds and bulls a path to points plays the piano in the band at her church as part of the music ministry. Marc Hardin, Cincinnati.com, "Catching up: Brossart's feisty Schultz doesn't back down for TMC women's basketball," 25 Jan. 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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Statistics for muscle

Last Updated

11 Oct 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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