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[muhs-kyuh-ler] /ˈmʌs kyə lər/
of or relating to muscle or the muscles:
muscular strain.
dependent on or affected by the muscles:
muscular strength.
having well-developed muscles; brawny.
vigorously and forcefully expressed, executed, performed, etc., as if by the use of a great deal of muscular power:
a muscular response to terrorism.
broad and energetic, especially with the implication that subtlety and grace are lacking:
a muscular style.
reflected in physical activity and work:
a muscular religion.
Informal. having or showing power; powerful:
a muscular vehicle.
Origin of muscular
1675-85; < Latin mūscul(us) muscle + -ar1
Related forms
muscularity, noun
muscularly, adverb
intermuscular, adjective
intermuscularly, adverb
intermuscularity, noun
nonmuscular, adjective
nonmuscularly, adverb
postmuscular, adjective
submuscular, adjective
submuscularly, adverb
unmuscular, adjective
unmuscularly, adverb
3. sinewy; strong, powerful; stalwart, sturdy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for muscularity
Historical Examples
  • Of both his muscularity and good-nature I am afraid we often took advantage.

  • The muscularity, purchased by excessive nutriment, of the Bœotian pugilist.

  • In the latter case, however, the Muscular should have either Thoracic or Alimentive tendencies combined with his muscularity.

    How to Analyze People on Sight

    Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict
  • What a wonderful piece of muscularity and good-nature he was, to be sure, as I remember him!

  • He had no overplus of style about him, but he was reliable, he was sincere, his muscularity was conceded by all.

  • His hair and brows and lashes were paler than straw, and his long lank figure was without either distinction or muscularity.

    Ancestors Gertrude Atherton
  • Power in painting does not come from muscularity of arm; it comes naturally from the intellect.

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • But he was wrong, it was a more insidious if not so fatal a disease—it was paralysis, the fell enemy of muscularity.

    Caught in a Trap John C. Hutcheson
  • But muscularity and health are not convertible terms, though many people seem to think they are.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • His chest was deep, his arms were gigantic in their muscularity, and no man had ever seen his legs show signs of exhaustion.

    The Graysons Edward Eggleston
British Dictionary definitions for muscularity


having well-developed muscles; brawny
of, relating to, or consisting of muscle
Derived Forms
muscularity (ˌmʌskjʊˈlærɪtɪ) noun
muscularly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin muscularis, from musculusmuscle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for muscularity

1680s, from Modern Latin muscularis (from Latin musculus; see muscle (n.)) + -ity.



1680s, "pertaining to muscles," from Latin musculus (see muscle (n.)) + -ar. Earlier in same sense was musculous (early 15c.). Meaning "having well-developed muscles" is from 1736. Muscular Christianity (1857) is originally in reference to philosophy of Anglican clergyman and novelist Charles Kingsley (1819-1875). Muscular dystrophy attested from 1886.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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muscularity in Medicine

muscularity mus·cu·lar·i·ty (mŭs'kyə-lār'ĭ-tē)
The state or condition of having well-developed muscles.

muscular mus·cu·lar (mŭs'kyə-lər)

  1. Of, relating to, or consisting of muscle.

  2. Having or characterized by well-developed muscles.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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