1. A tissue composed of fibers capable of contracting to effect bodily movement.
2. A contractile organ consisting of a special bundle of muscle tissue, which moves a particular bone, part, or substance of the body: the heart muscle; the muscles of the arm.
3. Muscular strength: enough muscle to be a high jumper.
4. Informal Power or authority: put some muscle into law enforcement.
v. mus·cled, mus·cling, mus·cles
To make one's way by or as if by force: muscled into the conversation.
To move or force with strength: muscled legislation through Congress.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin mūsculus, diminutive of mūs, mouse; see mūs- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus