having strong sinews: a sinewy back.
of or like sinews; tough, firm, braided, or resilient: a sinewy rope.
having conspicuous sinews; stringy: tough, sinewy meat.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for sinewy

Contemporary Examples of sinewy

Historical Examples of sinewy

  • Dilly was a very little woman, with abnormally long and sinewy arms.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • But Modred was in the pride of youth; muscular and sinewy was the frame of Modred.


    William Godwin

  • The man is of a fine American type, sinewy, resolute, hawk-eyed.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • Naked, lean-muscled and sinewy, Kashtanov paused before the door of the cage.

    Raiders Invisible

    Desmond Winter Hall

  • It was not as brown as hers, but the fingers were long and sinewy.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

British Dictionary definitions for sinewy



consisting of or resembling a tendon or tendons
muscular; brawny
(esp of language, style, etc) vigorous; forceful
(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 sinewy

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper