Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: BIOLOGY

Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: Latin musculus 'little mouse, muscle, mussel', from mus 'mouse'; because a muscle moving looks like a mouse under the skin

muscle

1 noun
     
mus‧cle1 S2 W3
1 [uncountable and countable]HB one of the pieces of flesh inside your body that you use in order to move, and that connect your bones togetherCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
arm/leg/neck/stomach etc muscles the muscles in your leg/arm/stomach etc strengthen/build up your muscles pull/strain a muscle (=injure a muscle) flex your muscles (=bend your arm muscles so that people can see how strong you are) muscle tissue/fibres (=the material that muscles are made of) muscle tone (=the firmness of your muscles )
Relax your stomach muscles, then stretch again.
Regular exercise will help to strengthen your muscles.
Beckham has pulled a muscle in his thigh and won't play tomorrow.
2

not move a muscle

to stay completely still:
The soldier stood without moving a muscle.
3 [uncountable] power or influence
military/economic/political etc muscle
The unions have a lot of political muscle.
The agreement will give the UN some muscle to enforce human rights.
4 [uncountable] physical strength and power:
It took muscle to work in an old-fashioned kitchen.
put some muscle into it (=used to tell someone to work harder)

➔ flex your muscles

at flex1 (2)
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