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
Museums need to develop some muscle memory around how to talk to communities.
That’s why running, on its own, isn’t sufficient to get the most out of all your muscle fibers.
What we most worry about in student athletes is whether the virus might trigger a rare inflammation of heart muscle.Teen athletes with even mild COVID-19 can develop heart problems | Partho Sengupta | November 18, 2020 | Science News For Students
The question facing Victor Robles is whether he can play with all the muscle, the weight it adds to his frame, the two biceps that make his shirts look like children’s clothing.A bulked-up Victor Robles had a down year. He’ll look to fine-tune his game in winter ball. | Jesse Dougherty | November 12, 2020 | Washington Post
To her trained eyes, those images show details such as the thickness of the muscle, blood flow and how hard the heart is pumping.When physicians and veterinarians team up, all species benefit | Liz Devitt | November 5, 2020 | Science News For Students
Our squadron doctor was lean, well muscled, square jawed and blond.
Mike is red-haired, big-muscled, fast, born to play football.The Stacks: The Searing Story of How Murder Stalked a Tiny New York Town | E. Jean Carroll | April 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
They like both the acquisition and performance of muscled masculinity.
Marco Rubio has muscled up on a forward-leaning foreign policy that Putin is making more popular.
Many of my favorite survivors in fiction show that it may not be the most muscled, macho or mighty people who pull through.Book Bag: How to Survive—Five Stories About Unlikely Survivors | Claire Cameron | February 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He stood up straight and lean-muscled, in a pair of duck shorts.The Devil's Asteroid | Manly Wade Wellman
Not only are they undersized and weak-muscled, but they shun bodily activity and are exceedingly sensitive to pain.The Old World in the New | Edward Alsworth Ross
He folded steel-muscled arms across his bleeding, sweating chest, heaved a deep breath and gloried in his lawless strength.Cursed | George Allan England
I went in a stripling and grew into manhood with muscled arms big as a bookkeeper's legs.The Iron Puddler | James J. Davis
Then two thick muscled arms closed around the artist from behind and he was lifted clear of the floor.
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.