— muscleless , adj. — muscly , adj.
/mus"euhl/ , n. , v. , muscled, muscling , adj.
1. a tissue composed of cells or fibers, the contraction of which produces movement in the body.
2. an organ, composed of muscle tissue, that contracts to produce a particular movement.
3. muscular strength; brawn: It will take a great deal of muscle to move this box.
4. power or force, esp. of a coercive nature: They put muscle into their policy and sent the marines.
5. lean meat.
a. a hired thug or thugs.
b. a bodyguard or bodyguards: a gangster protected by muscle.
7. a necessary or fundamental thing, quality, etc.: The editor cut the muscle from the article.
8. Informal. to force or compel others to make way for: He muscled his way into the conversation.
9. to make more muscular: The dancing lessons muscled her legs.
10. to strengthen or toughen; put muscle into.
11. Informal. to accomplish by muscular force: to muscle the partition into place.
12. Informal. to force or compel, as by threats, promises, influence, or the like: to muscle a bill through Congress.
13. Informal. to make one's way by force or fraud (often fol. by in or into ).
14. Informal. (of a machine, engine, or vehicle) being very powerful or capable of high-speed performance: a muscle power saw.
[ 1525-35; musculus lit., little mouse (from fancied resemblance to some muscles), equiv. to mus MOUSE + -culus -CLE 1 ]
Syn. 3. power, vigor, might, force.