1. having strong sinews: a sinewy back.
  2. of or like sinews; tough, firm, braided, or resilient: a sinewy rope.
  3. having conspicuous sinews; stringy: tough, sinewy meat.
  4. vigorous or forceful, as language, style, etc.: a sinewy argument.

Origin of sinewy

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at sinew, -y1
Related formssin·ew·i·ness, nounun·sin·ew·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sinewiness


  1. consisting of or resembling a tendon or tendons
  2. muscular; brawny
  3. (esp of language, style, etc) vigorous; forceful
  4. (of meat, etc) tough; stringy
Derived Formssinewiness, noun
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 sinewiness



late 14c., "made of sinews," from sinew + -y (2). As "tough, stringy" from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper