Pronunciation Noun


  1. (uncountable) A contractile form of tissue which animals use to effect movement.
    Muscle consists largely of actin and myosin filaments.
    Synonyms: thew
  2. (countable) An organ composed of muscle tissue.
    • 1912 January, Zane Grey, chapter 8, in Riders of the Purple Sage: A Novel, New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, OCLC 6868219 ↗:
      His brow and hair and the palms of his hands were wet, and there was a kind of nervous contraction of his muscles. They seemed to ripple and string tense.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 1, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473 ↗:
      You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will sell you to the knacker […]
  3. (uncountable, usually, in the plural) A well-developed physique, in which the muscles are enlarged from exercise.
    • 2008, Lou Schuler, "Foreward", in Nate Green, Built for Show, page xii
      The fact that I was middle-aged, bald, married, and raising girls instead of chasing them didn't really bother me. Muscles are cool at any age.
  4. (uncountable, figurative) Strength, force.
    • 2010, Adam Quinn, US Foreign Policy in Context, page 81
      The lesson to be drawn from the events of 1914, to Roosevelt's mind, was that civilization needed muscle to defend it, not just solemn words.
    • 2013, John D. MacDonald, The Long Lavender Look, page 15
      It was going to take muscle to pluck Miss Agnes out of the canal.
  5. (uncountable, figurative) Hired strongmen or bodyguards.
    • 1985 — Lance Parkin, The Infinity Doctors, p 34
      It was easy enough to dodge him, let him crash into the floorboards. Peltroc knew that his priority was the leader, not the hired muscle.
Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: músculo
  • Russian: мы́шца
  • Portuguese: musculatura
Translations Verb

muscle (muscles, present participle muscling; past and past participle muscled)

  1. To use force to make progress, especially physical force.
    He muscled his way through the crowd.
    • 1988, Steve Holman, "Christian Conquers Columbus", Ironman 47 (6): 28-34.
      Hensel and Wilson hit a series of leg shots simultaneously as Christian muscles between them with Quinn right on his heels.
Translations Related terms

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