not move a muscle

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not move a muscle

1. To not move at all; to stay completely still. When I looked down and saw the snake, I didn't move a muscle until it slithered past me. Sit still until I come back, do you hear me? Don't move a muscle!
2. To not do anything, especially in a situation when one should help. You didn't even move a muscle when I came in with the groceries. A little help next time. The kids have been glued to the TV all day not moving a muscle.
See also: move, muscle, not
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: move, muscle, not
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
See also: move, muscle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

not move a ˈmuscle

(of a person) stay very still, without moving: The patient didn’t move a muscle for weeks.
See also: move, muscle, not
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Hunters have long believed that game animals have a sixth sense; that uncanny ability to detect your presence even when the wind is perfect and you haven't moved a muscle. Researchers have found that our heart and muscles produce electromagnetic radiation (EMR), and that most game animals have the ability to sense this when in close proximity to us.