Other forms: muscles; muscled; muscling

Do you have the muscle to muscle your way to the top? Muscle is both a noun and verb associated with strength, power, or the use of physical force.

In addition to biological muscle, like the biceps in your arms, muscle can refer simply to power or authority, as in “We have the muscle to get the job done.” Muscle can also refer to a hired thug. In a similar sense, muscle is used as a verb to mean “use force.” A bully might muscle someone out of their lunch money, or you might muscle your way through a crowd by pushing people out of your way.

Definitions of muscle
  1. noun
    animal tissue consisting predominantly of contractile cells
    synonyms: muscular tissue
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    striated muscle tissue
    muscle tissue characterized by transverse stripes
    cardiac muscle, heart muscle
    the muscle tissue of the heart; adapted to continued rhythmic contraction
    smooth muscle
    muscle tissue that does not appear striated under the microscope; has the form of thin layers or sheets
    SA node, cardiac pacemaker, pacemaker, sinoatrial node
    a specialized bit of heart tissue that controls the heartbeat
    papillary muscle
    any of several muscles associated with the atrioventricular valves
    atrioventricular bundle, atrioventricular trunk, bundle of His, truncus atrioventricularis
    a bundle of modified heart muscle that transmits the cardiac impulse from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles causing them to contract
    atrioventricular node
    a node of specialized heart muscle located in the septal wall of the right atrium; receives impulses from the sinoatrial node and transmits them to atrioventricular bundle
    the middle muscular layer of the heart wall
    Purkinje fiber
    a specialized cardiac muscle fiber that is part of the Purkinje network
    Purkinje network, Purkinje's system, Purkinje's tissue
    a network of Purkinje fibers that carry the cardiac impulse from the atrioventricular node to the ventricles of the heart and causes them to contract
    type of:
    animal tissue
    the tissue in the bodies of animals
  2. noun
    one of the contractile organs of the body
    synonyms: musculus
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    skeletal muscle, striated muscle
    a muscle that is connected at either or both ends to a bone and so move parts of the skeleton; a muscle that is characterized by transverse stripes
    a muscle that produces or assists in pronation
    a muscle (especially in the forearm) that produces or assists in supination
    a muscle that serves to lift some body part (as the eyelid or lip)
    antagonistic muscle
    (physiology) a muscle that opposes the action of another
    eye muscle, ocular muscle
    one of the small muscles of the eye that serve to rotate the eyeball
    any of various straight muscles
    involuntary muscle, smooth muscle
    a muscle that contracts without conscious control and found in walls of internal organs such as stomach and intestine and bladder and blood vessels (excluding the heart)
    anatomical sphincter, sphincter, sphincter muscle
    a ring of muscle that contracts to close an opening
    any of several muscles that cause an attached structure to become tense or firm
    voluntary muscle
    striated muscle that can be controlled voluntarily
    abductor, abductor muscle
    a muscle that draws a body part away from the median line
    adductor, adductor muscle
    a muscle that draws a body part toward the median line
    anconeous muscle, musculus anconeus
    the muscle that extends the forearm and abducts the ulna in pronation of the wrist
    a muscle that contracts while another relaxes
    a muscle that relaxes while another contracts
    articular muscle
    a muscle that inserts directly onto the capsule of a joint
    extensor, extensor muscle
    a skeletal muscle whose contraction extends or stretches a body part
    flexor, flexor muscle
    a skeletal muscle whose contraction bends a joint
    abducens muscle, lateral rectus, lateral rectus muscle, rectus lateralis
    the ocular muscle whose contraction turns the eyeball outward
    inferior rectus, inferior rectus muscle, rectus inferior
    the ocular muscle whose contraction turns the eyeball down and medially
    medial rectus, medial rectus muscle, rectus medialis
    the ocular muscle whose contraction turns the eyeball medially
    rectus superior, superior rectus, superior rectus muscle
    the ocular muscle whose contraction turns the eyeball upward and medially
    the smooth muscle forming the wall of the uterus
    deltoid, deltoid muscle, musculus deltoideus
    a large triangular muscle covering the shoulder joint and serving to abduct and flex and extend and rotate the arm
    serratus, serratus muscles
    any of several muscles of the trunk
    musculus pectoralis, pecs, pectoral, pectoral muscle, pectoralis
    either of two large muscles of the chest
    intercostal, intercostal muscle, musculus intercostalis
    muscles between the ribs; they contract during inspiration
    depressor, depressor muscle
    any skeletal muscle that draws a body part down
    ab, abdominal, abdominal muscle
    the muscles of the abdomen
    lat, latissimus dorsi
    a broad flat muscle on either side of the back
    glute, gluteal muscle, gluteus, gluteus muscle
    any one of three large skeletal muscles that form the buttock and move the thigh
    physiological sphincter
    a sphincter that is not recognizable at autopsy because its resting arrangement cannot be distinguished from adjacent tissue
    anal sphincter, musculus sphincter ani, sphincter ani
    the sphincter muscle of the anus
    musculus sphincter ani externus
    an external ring of striated muscle surrounding the anus
    musculus sphincter ani internus
    an internal ring of smooth muscle formed by circular fibers of the rectum
    musculus sphincter urethrae, urethral sphincter
    a striated sphincter muscle that constricts the urethra
    bladder sphincter, musculus sphincter vesicae
    the sphincter muscle of the urinary bladder; made up of a thickened muscular layer of bladder around the urethral opening
    musculus sphincter ductus choledochi
    the smooth muscle sphincter of the common bile duct
    musculus sphincter ductus pancreatici
    the smooth muscle sphincter of the main pancreatic duct
    musculus sphincter pupillae, pupillary sphincter
    a ring of smooth muscle surrounding the iris
    musculus sphincter pylori, pyloric sphincter, pyloric valve
    the sphincter muscle of the pylorus that separates the stomach from the duodenum
    tensor tympani
    a small muscle in the middle ear that tenses to protect the eardrum
    calf, sura
    the muscular back part of the shank
    gastrocnemius, gastrocnemius muscle
    the muscle in the back part of the leg that forms the greater part of the calf; responsible for the plantar flexion of the foot
    either of two muscles of the abdomen and pelvis that flex the trunk and rotate the thigh
    rhomboid, rhomboid muscle
    any of several muscles of the upper back that help move the shoulder blade
    soleus, soleus muscle
    a broad flat muscle in the calf of the leg under the gastrocnemius muscle
    splenius, splenius muscle
    either of two flat muscles that extend from the upper vertebrae to the base of the skull and serve to rotate or flex or extend the head and neck
    muscle of the lower leg that is involved in moving the foot
    pterygoid muscle
    muscle descending from the sphenoid bone to the lower jaw
    any skeletal muscle having two origins (but especially the muscle that flexes the forearm)
    any skeletal muscle having three origins (but especially the triceps brachii)
    axial muscle
    a skeletal muscle of the trunk or head
    musculus sartorius, sartorius, sartorius muscle
    a muscle in the thigh that helps to rotate the leg into the sitting position assumed by a tailor; the longest muscle in the human body
    musculus scalenus, scalene muscle, scalenus
    any of four pairs of muscles extending from the cervical vertebrae to the second rib; involved in moving the neck and in breathing
    musculus sternocleidomastoideus, sternocleido mastoideus, sternocleidomastoid, sternocleidomastoid muscle
    one of two thick muscles running from the sternum and clavicle to the mastoid and occipital bone; turns head obliquely to the opposite side; when acting together they flex the neck and extend the head
    teres, teres muscle
    either of two muscles in the shoulder region that move the shoulders and arms
    musculus tibialis, tibialis, tibialis muscle
    either of two skeletal muscle in each leg arising from the tibia; provides for movement of the foot
    cowl muscle, musculus trapezius, trapezius, trapezius muscle
    either of two flat triangular muscles of the shoulder and upper back that are involved in moving the shoulders and arms
    facial muscle
    any of the skeletal muscles of the face
    musculus temporalis, temporal muscle, temporalis, temporalis muscle
    muscle extending from the temporal fossa to the coronoid process of the mandible; acts to raise the mandible and close the jaws
    type of:
    contractile organ, contractor
    a bodily organ that contracts
  3. noun
    a bully employed as a thug or bodyguard
    synonyms: muscleman
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    type of:
    bully, hooligan, roughneck, rowdy, ruffian, tough, yob, yobbo, yobo
    a cruel and brutal fellow
  4. noun
    authority or power or force (especially when used in a coercive way)
    “the senators used their muscle to get the party leader to resign”
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    type of:
    authorisation, authority, authorization, dominance, potency, say-so
    the power or right to give orders or make decisions
  5. noun
    possessing muscular strength
    synonyms: brawn, brawniness, heftiness, muscularity, sinew
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    type of:
    the property of being physically or mentally strong
  6. verb
    make one's way by force
    “He muscled his way into the office”
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    type of:
    go across, go through, pass
    go across or through




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