Pronunciation: (mus'ul), [key]
—n., v., -cled, -cling,
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.
1. Informal.to force or compel others to make way for: He muscled his way into the conversation.
2. to make more muscular: The dancing lessons muscled her legs.
3. to strengthen or toughen; put muscle into.
4. Informal.to accomplish by muscular force: to muscle the partition into place.
5. Informal.to force or compel, as by threats, promises, influence, or the like: to muscle a bill through Congress.
Informal.to make one's way by force or fraud (often fol. by in or into).
Informal.(of a machine, engine, or vehicle) being very powerful or capable of high-speed performance: a muscle power saw.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.