Meaning of MUSCLE in English

I. muscle

variant of mussel

II. mus·cle ˈməsəl noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle French, from Latin musculus, from diminutive of mus mouse — more at mouse


a. : a tissue that functions to produce motion and is made up of variously modified elongated cells capable of contracting when stimulated — see cardiac muscle , smooth muscle , striated muscle

b. : an organ that contracts to produce, enhance, or check a particular movement and is made up of usually striated muscle tissue enclosed in a perimysium and firmly attached at either end to a bone or other fixed point — see agonist , antagonist , synergist


a. : something that resembles or is likened to a muscle

electronic circuits … are the muscles which carry out its orders — Boeing Magazine

the muscles of England … the factories — Richard Joseph

limbered his mental and moral muscles — Janet Whitney


(1) : muscular strength : brawn

got the nerve for anything, only he hasn't got the muscle — Joseph Conrad

(2) : effective strength or authority : force , power

put military muscle into the mutual defense pact — New York Herald Tribune

chosen less for polish and background, more for economic and executive muscle — Time

a cup of … coffee that really has some muscle — R.M.Hodesh

c. : an essential item or service : necessity

economics that would cut out fat rather than muscle — D.W.Mitchell


a. : muscular tissue

b. : lean meat

III. muscle verb

( muscled ; muscled ; muscling -s(ə)liŋ ; muscles )

transitive verb

1. dialect : to move by muscular effort

needed men to muscle chairs and tables — Linnell Jones

2. : to use strength or influence on : achieve by coercion : force , shove

was suddenly muscled aside as a swarm of his fellows rushed out — Sydney (Australia) Bulletin

a plane muscles its way through the … sound barrier — Springfield (Massachusetts) Daily News

dreamers were muscled out of patent rights — Scott Fitzgerald

3. : to furnish with strength or muscle : reinforce , condition

even the years of ballet exercises … had not muscled them into hardness — Winifred Bambrick

muscle up our diplomatic approach — Newsweek

muscling their minds to strike — Rose Thurburn

intransitive verb


a. : to make one's way by brute strength

slowly muscled up the cliff

b. : to overcome opposition by force — usually used with in or into

muscled into the queue — Bruce Marshall

2. : to force one's way in (as by trickery or intimidation) against hostility or opposition especially for fraudulent gain — usually used with in

some competing journalist would muscle in on my exclusive story — New York Times

muscling in on his territory — Green Peyton

would muscle in on the racket

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.