muscle memory

noun

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

For example, elementary OS puts the windows close button on the left, which, for me, messes with 25 years of muscle memory. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream," 28 Dec. 2018 But a new voice and personality should at least disrupt the harmful mental muscle memory that has accumulated. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Raptors Coach Dwane Casey Wasn't Fired Because He Lost to LeBron," 11 May 2018 The muscle memory of steering, brake, and throttle control will be imprinted early. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Polaris Ranger 150 EFI Is Like a Truck for Kids," 13 Feb. 2019 The neurological pathways that connected his brain to his muscle memory had been dormant and disconnected so long that the wiring had decayed, leaving him as helpless as a toddler. Lindsey Vehlewald, SELF, "We Never Got Flu Shots. Then the Flu Almost Killed My Husband," 9 Nov. 2018 After long enough, there’s a different kind of dexterity and muscle memory as the work becomes significantly free. Katerina Ang, WSJ, "After a Record Sale, Mark Grotjahn Changes Course," 24 Oct. 2018 It should be noted that the league race is far from over, no matter what logic and muscle memory tell us. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Nine sad Big 12 coaches, Chiefs’ path forward, trading Alex & refs," 16 Jan. 2018 No muscle memory of how to come back from a deficit. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "When things get tense for Warriors, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson come through," 26 May 2018 Castillo subtly makes the meaning of words known without direct translation, reminding us how much conversation consists of chain-links and muscle memory — of words that are felt more than understood. New York Times, "A Debut Novel Traces the Filipino Experience in the United States," 2 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of muscle memory

1890, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

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The first known use of muscle memory was in 1890

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