Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to muscle: muscle building, Muscle relaxers, Muscle spasms
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
An inflated notion of one's strength, ego, or bravado due to excess consumption of alcohol (not necessarily beer). When he drinks, Jeff always gets beer muscles and wants to fight every guy in the bar. I tend to get beer muscles when I drink too much, and I find myself trying some new outrageous physical feat to show off to my friends.
slang A man's penis. It's my belief that, in general, men care far more about the size of their love muscles than do the women they sleep with.
muscle in (on someone or something)
to try forcefully to displace someone or take over someone's property, interests, or relationships. Are you trying to muscle in on my scheme? If you try to muscle in, you'll be facing big trouble.
muscle someone out of somethingand muscle someone out
to force someone out of something; to push someone out of something. (Can be physical or by coercion.) Are you trying to muscle me out of my job? The younger people are muscling out the older ones.
not move a muscle
to remain perfectly motionless. Be quiet. Sit there and don't move a muscle. I was so tired I couldn't move a muscle.
pull a muscle
to strain a muscle and suffer the attendant pain. I pulled a muscle in my back and can't play golf today.
flex your/its muscles
to act in a way that shows power or strength This very poor nation is beginning to flex its muscles as an important producer of coffee. Conservatives are flexing their muscles in local elections this fall.
muscle in on something
to force a way into someone's business or other relationships in order to control them Russell was the governor's closest friend, and he didn't like it when someone tried to muscle in on that relationship. These people pretended to be my friends, but they just wanted to muscle in on my life.
flex your muscles
to use or increase your influence or power He was a very successful movie actor, but he's decided to flex his muscles on the stage for a while.
Usage notes: sometimes used with an adjective to show a particular kind of influence or power: The attorney general is flexing his legal muscles to enforce gun control laws.
Etymology: from the literal meaning of flex your muscles (to tighten your muscles)
flex your muscles
if a person or an organization flexes their muscles, they take some action to let people know how powerful they are The latest bomb scare was just the terrorists flexing their muscles - showing us they haven't gone away.
not move a muscle
to stay completely still She sat without moving a muscle as the nurse injected the anaesthetic.See Move arse!, move up a gear, move in for the kill, change up with the times, come down in the world
flex one's muscles
Show off one's strength or power, as in The boys love flexing their muscles, or The new department head has decided to flex her muscles. [Early 1900s]
move a muscle
Bestir oneself even slightly. This idiom is usually put negatively, either with implied criticism, as in She won't move a muscle to help get dinner, or not, as in When I saw the deer, I stayed quite still, not daring to move a muscle. It was first recorded in 1889.
Also, muscle in on. Forcibly intrude on or interfere with something, as in The children were determined not to allow the school bully to muscle in, or No more muscling in on our policy decisions! [Colloquial; 1920s]
flex (one's) musclesInformal
To exhibit or show off one's strength.