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


1 noun
Related topics: Biology, Human
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.

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)

Dictionary results for "muscle"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.