muscle memory


Definition of muscle memory

: the ability to repeat a specific muscular movement with improved efficiency and accuracy that is acquired through practice and repetition They practice their routines with mind-numbing repetitiveness, for hours and days, weeks and years, so that each spinning, twisting landing off the high bar becomes an act of muscle memory.— E. M. Swift

Examples of muscle memory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People who still love QWERTY love the tactile feedback and the ability to type with muscle memory. Sascha Segan, PCMAG, 4 Jan. 2022 Badillo, a combat medic who trained at Fort Sam, reacted out of muscle memory. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Dec. 2021 The time on task has helped Newsome learn the scheme, and commit his new technique to muscle memory. cleveland, 25 Aug. 2021 The phenomenon, sometimes triggered by stress, occurs when an athlete's mind and body have a disconnect midair, resulting in a potentially dangerous loss of muscle memory and spatial awareness. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 21 Oct. 2021 What the Cardinals don’t have is the muscle memory that comes from playing well in the second half of a season and into the playoffs. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 13 Nov. 2021 Making this transition involves developing different marketing strategies and an entirely new set of muscle memory. Billee Howard, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 For most of them, including five members of the original cast, the process would amount to a jogging of muscle memory. Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2021 My legs didn’t have the muscle memory to keep doing it. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of muscle memory

1890, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best resistance bands.

Learn More About muscle memory

Time Traveler for muscle memory

Time Traveler

The first known use of muscle memory was in 1890

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near muscle memory


muscle memory

muscle one's way

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for muscle memory

Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Muscle memory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!