Nearby words

  1. muscat and oman,
  2. muscatel,
  3. muscatine,
  4. muscavado,
  5. muscid,
  6. muscle beach,
  7. muscle car,
  8. muscle dysmorphia,
  9. muscle fiber,
  10. muscle fibre

Origin of muscle

1525–35; < Latin mūsculus literally, little mouse (from fancied resemblance to some muscles), equivalent to mūs mouse + -culus -cle1

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for muscle


British Dictionary definitions for muscle

muscle

noun

a tissue composed of bundles of elongated cells capable of contraction and relaxation to produce movement in an organ or part
an organ composed of muscle tissue
strength or force

verb

(intr; often foll by in, on, etc) informal to force one's way (in)
Derived Formsmuscly, adjective

Word Origin for muscle

C16: from medical Latin musculus little mouse, from the imagined resemblance of some muscles to mice, from Latin mūs mouse

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

Word Origin and History for muscle
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for muscle

muscle

[mŭsəl]

n.

A tissue consisting predominantly of contractile cells and classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth, the last lacking transverse striations characteristic of the first two.
Any of the contractile organs of the body by which movements of the various organs and parts are effected, and whose fibers are usually attached at each extremity to a bone or other structure by a tendon.

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

Science definitions for muscle

muscle

[mŭsəl]

A body tissue composed of sheets or bundles of cells that contract to produce movement or increase tension. Muscle cells contain filaments made of the proteins actin and myosin, which lie parallel to each other. When a muscle is signaled to contract, the actin and myosin filaments slide past each other in an overlapping pattern.Skeletal muscle effects voluntary movement and is made up of bundles of elongated cells (muscle fibers), each of which contains many nuclei.Smooth muscle provides the contractile force for the internal organs and is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Smooth muscle cells are spindle-shaped and each contains a single nucleus.Cardiac muscle makes up the muscle of the heart and consists of a meshwork of striated cells.
Related formsmuscular adjective

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with muscle

muscle

In addition to the idiom beginning with muscle

  • muscle in

also see:

  • flex one's muscles
  • move a muscle
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.