a tissue composed of cells or fibers, the contraction of which produces movement in the body.
an organ, composed of muscle tissue, that contracts to produce a particular movement.
muscular strength; brawn: It will take a great deal of muscle to move this box.
power or force, especially of a coercive nature: They put muscle into their policy and sent the marines.
a hired thug or thugs.
a bodyguard or bodyguards: a gangster protected by muscle.
a necessary or fundamental thing, quality, etc.: The editor cut the muscle from the article.
Informal. to force or compel others to make way for: He muscled his way into the conversation.
to make more muscular: The dancing lessons muscled her legs.
to strengthen or toughen; put muscle into.
Informal. to accomplish by muscular force: to muscle the partition into place.
Informal. to force or compel, as by threats, promises, influence, or the like: to muscle a bill through Congress.
Informal. to make one's way by force or fraud (often followed by in or into).
Informal. (of a machine, engine, or vehicle) being very powerful or capable of high-speed performance: a muscle power saw.
- mus·cle·less, adjective
- muscly, adjective
- o·ver·mus·cled, adjective
- trans·mus·cle, noun
- un·mus·cled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use muscle in a sentence
In its first flexing of new muscle, the branch pored over the plans filed just a few years ago by private utilities, looking for inconsistencies or holes.Watchdog Warns: SDG&E’s Tree-Trimming Plan Could Worsen Wildfires | MacKenzie Elmer | August 24, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
The alloy contracts like a muscle when heated, and extends once cool.Methanol fuel gives this tiny beetle bot the freedom to roam | Carmen Drahl | August 19, 2020 | Science News
Hemp is a source of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, the cannabis-derived compound that consumers use for relief from muscle and joint pain, anxiety, and insomnia.
It’s caused by mutations in the gene that makes dystrophin, a protein that serves to rebuild and strengthen muscle fibers in skeletal and cardiac muscles.A Year After Gene Therapy, Boys With Muscular Dystrophy Are Healthier and Stronger | Vanessa Bates Ramirez | July 30, 2020 | Singularity Hub
“Working with children using our device, I’ve witnessed a physical moment where the brain “clicks” and starts moving the hand rather than focusing on moving the muscles,” LaChappelle said.This Startup Is 3D Printing Custom Prosthetics for a Fraction of the Standard Cost | Vanessa Bates Ramirez | July 22, 2020 | Singularity Hub
Security guards have also been posted to add some muscle (but this has done little to deter vandals in past years).
Companies like Delta, Apple, and Nike flex their political muscle on behalf of gay rights.
The bell tower bellows loudly when a little muscle power is put into it.
When it comes to tangible gifts, the sharing economy really starts to flex its holiday disrupting muscle.
I can see the implant in there, and see where the muscle is snatching that implant up.Azealia Banks Opens Up About Her Journey from Stripping to Rap Stardom | Marlow Stern | November 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The strength of the lion is tremendous, owing to the immense mass of muscle around its jaws, shoulders, and forearms.Hunting the Lions | R.M. Ballantyne
The man was accustomed to the French of Englishmen, and withdrew without moving a muscle of his face.Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
He was a man of gigantic muscle, and seizing the arm of Louis, called aloud to bar the egress.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
In this country an unexplained marked eosinophilia warrants examination of a portion of muscle for Trichina spiralis (p. 255).A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
The second pair show that the transverse processes, from the first to the third, are those into which the muscle is inserted.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
British Dictionary definitions for muscle
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
(intr; often foll by in, on, etc) informal to force one's way (in)
- muscly, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for muscle
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.
- muscular adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with muscle
In addition to the idiom beginning with muscle
- muscle in
- 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.