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[sin-yoo] /ˈsɪn yu/
a tendon.
Often, sinews. the source of strength, power, or vigor:
the sinews of the nation.
strength; power; resilience:
a man of great moral sinew.
verb (used with object)
to furnish with sinews; strengthen, as by sinews.
Origin of sinew
before 900; Middle English; Old English sinu (nominative), sinuwe (genitive); cognate with Dutch zenuw, German Sehne, Old Norse sin; akin to Sanskrit snāva sinew
Related forms
sinewless, adjective
unsinewed, adjective
unsinewing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sinew
  • He smears bitumen from an old car battery onto the end of the shaft, heats it again, and binds twine made of kudu sinew around it.
  • It's a complicated, messy piece of anatomy, with sinew and hide hanging off one end.
  • Every movement was sure and purposeful as they approached in a rippling of sinew and muscle.
  • There was a fresh leg with sinew and bones but no flesh.
  • The mountains-which look as if they've been skinned, showing vein and sinew-break the eerie flatness.
  • The tough skin on the outside of large fillet should be removed, also the sinew from mignon fillet.
  • In them, the dancer regains her human flesh and sinew.
  • The ship is the heart and sinew of all who sail in her.
  • His bold, simple lines pop from the page, and he doesn't overembellish or weigh down his drawings with too much sinew.
  • Then add to that, legs with no flesh, muscle or sinew and you have a recipe for disaster.
British Dictionary definitions for sinew


(anatomy) another name for tendon
(often pl)
  1. a source of strength or power
  2. a literary word for muscle
Derived Forms
sinewless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English sionu; related to Old Norse sin, Old Saxon sinewa, Old High German senawa sinew, Lettish pasainis string
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 sinew

Old English seonowe, oblique form of nominative sionu "sinew," from Proto-Germanic *senawo (cf. Old Saxon sinewa, Old Norse sina, Old Frisian sine, Middle Dutch senuwe, Dutch zenuw, Old High German senawa, German Sehne), from PIE root *sai- "to tie, bind" (cf. Sanskrit snavah "sinew," Avestan snavar, Irish sin "chain").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sinew in Medicine

sinew sin·ew (sĭn'yōō)

  1. A tendon.

  2. Vigorous strength; muscular power.

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