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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web At a position of confidence and repetitive muscle memory, too much waiting can run the risk of forgetting what made a player enticing in the first place. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Apr. 2023 Arm swings make a great drill for teaching technique and muscle memory. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 2 Mar. 2023 My only conclusion is that our deepest musical nostalgia hides in our muscle memory. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2023 And there’s muscle memory. Time, 18 Sep. 2022 To recreate anything approximating those crackling yet melting buns requires hours and the talent and muscle memory of Ella Irby, the longtime baker at Bogue’s, which closed last fall after 84 years in business. Genevieve Ko, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023 So technically, [my actor] physically owns the muscle memory and obviously tracing the motifs and things. Hilton Dresden, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Jan. 2023 All the muscle memory was still there. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 14 Dec. 2022 Simpson was picking up a pizza yesterday and found herself – like muscle memory – opening her voice notes, juggling in her head singing a song to get it down for posterity with also singing in a pizza line without arousing distaste from her neighbors with her volume or activity. Riley Van Steward, Forbes, 16 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'muscle memory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of muscle memory was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near muscle memory

Cite this Entry

“Muscle memory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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