[ muhs-uhl ]
/ ˈmʌs əl /
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.
verb (used with object), mus·cled, mus·cling.
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.
verb (used without object), mus·cled, mus·cling.
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.
Words nearby muscle
Origin of muscle
OTHER WORDS FROM muscle
mus·cle·less, adjectivemus·cly, adjectiveo·ver·mus·cled, adjectivetrans·mus·cle, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for muscly
/ (ˈmʌsəl) /
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)
Derived forms of musclemuscly, 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
Medicine definitions for muscly
[ mŭs′əl ]
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 muscly
[ mŭs′əl ]
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.
Other words from musclemuscular adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with muscly
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.