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[muhs-kyuh-ler] /ˈmʌs kyə lər/
of or relating to muscle or the muscles:
muscular strain.
dependent on or affected by the muscles:
muscular strength.
having well-developed muscles; brawny.
vigorously and forcefully expressed, executed, performed, etc., as if by the use of a great deal of muscular power:
a muscular response to terrorism.
broad and energetic, especially with the implication that subtlety and grace are lacking:
a muscular style.
reflected in physical activity and work:
a muscular religion.
Informal. having or showing power; powerful:
a muscular vehicle.
Origin of muscular
1675-85; < Latin mūscul(us) muscle + -ar1
Related forms
muscularity, noun
muscularly, adverb
intermuscular, adjective
intermuscularly, adverb
intermuscularity, noun
nonmuscular, adjective
nonmuscularly, adverb
postmuscular, adjective
submuscular, adjective
submuscularly, adverb
unmuscular, adjective
unmuscularly, adverb
3. sinewy; strong, powerful; stalwart, sturdy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for muscularity
Historical Examples
  • His chest was deep, his arms were gigantic in their muscularity, and no man had ever seen his legs show signs of exhaustion.

    The Graysons Edward Eggleston
  • Of both his muscularity and good-nature I am afraid we often took advantage.

  • But there are folk whose admiration of the muscularity is very great, but whose regard for the Christianity is very small.

  • The muscularity, purchased by excessive nutriment, of the Bœotian pugilist.

  • In the latter case, however, the Muscular should have either Thoracic or Alimentive tendencies combined with his muscularity.

    How to Analyze People on Sight Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict
  • He had no overplus of style about him, but he was reliable, he was sincere, his muscularity was conceded by all.

  • His hair and brows and lashes were paler than straw, and his long lank figure was without either distinction or muscularity.

    Ancestors Gertrude Atherton
  • Power in painting does not come from muscularity of arm; it comes naturally from the intellect.

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • What a wonderful piece of muscularity and good-nature he was, to be sure, as I remember him!

  • But he was wrong, it was a more insidious if not so fatal a disease—it was paralysis, the fell enemy of muscularity.

    Caught in a Trap John C. Hutcheson
British Dictionary definitions for muscularity


having well-developed muscles; brawny
of, relating to, or consisting of muscle
Derived Forms
muscularity (ˌmʌskjʊˈlærɪtɪ) noun
muscularly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin muscularis, from musculusmuscle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for muscularity

1680s, from Modern Latin muscularis (from Latin musculus; see muscle (n.)) + -ity.



1680s, "pertaining to muscles," from Latin musculus (see muscle (n.)) + -ar. Earlier in same sense was musculous (early 15c.). Meaning "having well-developed muscles" is from 1736. Muscular Christianity (1857) is originally in reference to philosophy of Anglican clergyman and novelist Charles Kingsley (1819-1875). Muscular dystrophy attested from 1886.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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muscularity in Medicine

muscularity mus·cu·lar·i·ty (mŭs'kyə-lār'ĭ-tē)
The state or condition of having well-developed muscles.

muscular mus·cu·lar (mŭs'kyə-lər)

  1. Of, relating to, or consisting of muscle.

  2. Having or characterized by well-developed muscles.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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