View synonyms for sinewy


[ sin-yoo-ee ]


  1. having strong sinews; muscular; brawny:

    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.


/ ˈsɪnjʊɪ /


  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
“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

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Derived Forms

  • ˈsinewiness, noun
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Other Words From

  • sinew·i·ness noun
  • un·sinew·y adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of sinewy1

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; sinew, -y 1
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Example Sentences

It’s easy to picture proteins as the meaty, sinewy chicken wing I’m biting into as I type this sentence.

Jane Campion’s gorgeous, sinewy western, based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel, is a movie as big as the open sky—but also one where human emotions are distinctly visible, as fine and sharp as a blade of grass.

From Time

The best time to see it is on a sunny day when the light filters through the tall windows and illuminates its sinewy contours.

It was the only thing I knew him by, as a 9-year-old, in 1996, staring up at his sinewy 6 ft.

From Time

The practice isn’t confined to the crape myrtle, but there is something about the tree’s smooth, sinewy bark that invites a chop.

His flesh is sagging a bit, but he is still trim and looks lean, sinewy and tough.

A sinewy woman emerges, stepping out onto the gray city sidewalk.

Charles Ray has a suite of 15 ink-on-paper paintings in an adjacent room, depicting flowers with sinewy, rainbow-colored petals.

The sinewy muscles of his arms bunched together fiercely at his shoulder.

There was some talk, that maybe, just maybe, this sinewy kid would be a hell of a ticket asset.

“Fibrous” applies metaphorically to mental qualities; it means strong, sinewy—high talents, just below genius.

His sinewy hands were clenched on his knees, and his moccasined feet crossed and uncrossed themselves as the hearing progressed.

Tall and sinewy, their stern faces and flashing eyes proclaimed their courage.

I always pictured them stern bearded men, with brick-red faces and sinewy limbs.

He was a quiet, rather untalkative man, lean and sinewy, sun and wind bitten.


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