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

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 So while many Americans may not have been paying attention in the run-up, the tournament will undoubtedly be front of mind as the muscle memory kicks back in. Roger Bennett, GQ, "Un-American Football: Your Guide to Enjoying This Yankee-Free World Cup," 12 June 2018 Morgan is also the only regular contributor left on Indiana’s roster with the muscle memory of a Big Ten title. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Juwan Morgan's return means raised expectations for IU basketball," 29 May 2018 Then begins the sense of déjà vu, of tragedies blurring together, of muscle memory. Kate Guarino,, "In One Year As A Journalist, I’ve Lost Track Of All The Mass Shootings I’ve Covered," 29 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

3 Dec 2018

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The first known use of muscle memory was in 1890

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