a tendon.
Often sinews. the source of strength, power, or vigor: the sinews of the nation.
strength; power; resilience: a man of great moral sinew.

verb (used with object)

to furnish with sinews; strengthen, as by sinews.

Origin of sinew

before 900; Middle English; Old English sinu (nominative), sinuwe (genitive); cognate with Dutch zenuw, German Sehne, Old Norse sin; akin to Sanskrit snāva sinew
Related formssin·ew·less, adjectiveun·sin·ewed, adjectiveun·sin·ew·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sinewed

Historical Examples of sinewed

  • But the buckskins were sinewed with whalebone and used to desert work.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • The growl in his deep chest and sinewed throat was that of a wolf.


    George Allan England

  • He showed her his two hands, big and sinewed, capable and strong.

    The Air Trust

    George Allan England

  • Smiler came in, tattered and unkempt as usual, but wiry and sinewed, as anyone could see at a glance.

  • He dreamed of building an airplane with metal, wood and fabric to emulate the sinewed, feathered grace of a soaring gull.

    Test Pilot

    David Goodger (

British Dictionary definitions for sinewed



anatomy another name for tendon
(often plural)
  1. a source of strength or power
  2. a literary word for muscle
Derived Formssinewless, adjective

Word Origin for sinew

Old English sionu; related to Old Norse sin, Old Saxon sinewa, Old High German senawa sinew, Lettish pasainis string
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 sinewed



Old English seonowe, oblique form of nominative sionu "sinew," from Proto-Germanic *senawo (cf. Old Saxon sinewa, Old Norse sina, Old Frisian sine, Middle Dutch senuwe, Dutch zenuw, Old High German senawa, German Sehne), from PIE root *sai- "to tie, bind" (cf. Sanskrit snavah "sinew," Avestan snavar, Irish sin "chain").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for sinewed




A tendon.
Vigorous strength; muscular power.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.