muscle

noun, often attributive
mus·​cle | \ ˈmə-səl How to pronounce muscle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce muscling (audio) \

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

What makes that possible: focusing on muscles that respond fastest to strength training—those in your arms, shoulders, calves and lower abs. Glamour, "8 Workout Moves for a Stronger Body in Two Weeks," 12 Mar. 2019 From there, the hot dog travels to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), an involuntary bundle of muscles at the low end of the esophagus that prevents acid from getting into the stomach. Amy Kraft, CBS News, "How competitive eaters do it – and what it does to them," 4 July 2018 BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe forehead lines, crow’s feet lines, and frown lines between the eyebrows in adults. Jordan Amchin, Vanities, "The Week in Fashion: Kerry Washington Welcomes Summer in Style," 22 June 2018 The Real-Life Diet of NBA Draft Prospect Trae Young Icon Sportswire The Oklahoma phenom's secret for packing on lean muscle? Christopher Cason, GQ, "The Real-Life Diet of NBA Draft Prospect Trae Young," 21 June 2018 Republicans under retiring Speaker Paul Ryan all but gave up trying to the muscle the conservative House Freedom Caucus in line. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Tops on House Dems to-do list: Try to end shutdown," 1 Jan. 2019 Ryan says this can stretch the muscles around your hips and help release some negative energy. Kara Wahlgren, Seventeen, "8 Ways to Make Your Cramps Suck Less," 6 Sep. 2018 Moreover, the Oregon Klan’s muscle led it more actively into electoral politics than most other state Klans. Longreads, "Oregon’s Racist Past," 12 July 2018 That will be followed by the muscle paralyzing drug. Ken Ritter, USA TODAY, "Nevada execution in doubt after pharmaceutical company lawsuit," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That is bringing new competition into truck manufacturing and putting pressure on components suppliers, just as technology providers are muscling into traditional automotive supply chains. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Hedging on Futures; Flooding Swamps Midwest; Paying Higher Premiums," 29 Mar. 2019 The Washington Post reported last week that Cube and Kwatinetz have filed a $1.2-billion lawsuit in California alleging that Qatari investors withheld funds in an attempt to muscle them out of the league. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Ice Cube, BIG3 basketball league send message to Donald Trump with full-page ad," 10 Apr. 2018 Sophomore center Tyrique Jones, too, had an impressive showing against the 7-foot-2 Reed, muscling up to one of the biggest challenges XU's faced at the center position all season. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "No. 1 Xavier basketball downs Texas Southern in NCAA Tournament opener, 102-83," 16 Mar. 2018 And while Europe and China were wrestling with slowdowns, the U.S. economy muscled higher. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "IMF’s Departing Chief Economist Issues a Rare Warning on U.S. Growth," 9 Dec. 2018 Fortnite is slowly but surely muscling into everyone’s territory. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite adds planes and now people are playing it like Battlefield," 6 Dec. 2018 Rush linebacker Chima Onyeukwu muscled through the offensive line on the third play of Cooper’s team series to tap-sack the young QB. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "WSU football camp | Cougars’ quarterback battle down to three men? Not quite yet.," 7 Aug. 2018 But the growth is not all at America’s expense—China is muscling out Europe and Japan, too. Malcolm Scott, Bloomberg.com, "China and the U.S. make up almost 40 percent of the world economy," 12 May 2016 The story changes immediately, and the GOP receives zero credit for muscling through Kavanaugh. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "How potential government shutdown could throw wrench into Brett Kavanaugh confirmation," 31 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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Statistics for muscle

Last Updated

24 May 2019

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 How to pronounce muscle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce muscle (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on muscle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with muscle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for muscle

Spanish Central: Translation of muscle

Nglish: Translation of muscle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of muscle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about muscle

Comments on muscle

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