from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Consisting of or resembling sinews.
  • adj. Having many sinews; stringy and tough: a sinewy cut of beef.
  • adj. Lean and muscular. See Synonyms at muscular.
  • adj. Strong and vigorous: sinewy prose.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Tough; having strong sinews.
  • adj. Having or showing nervous strength.
  • adj. possessing physical strength and weight; rugged and powerful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, consisting of, or resembling, a sinew or sinews.
  • adj. Well braced with, or as if with, sinews; nervous; vigorous; strong; firm; tough.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of the nature of a sinew; resembling a sinew; forming a sinew; tendinous: as, sinewy fibers; a sinewy muscle, in which the tendinous part is conspicuous.
  • Having strong sinews; hence, muscular; strong; brawny; robust.
  • Pertaining to or due to physical strength; hence, stout, strong, or vigorous in any way.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of a person) possessing physical strength and weight; rugged and powerful
  • adj. consisting of tendons or resembling a tendon
  • adj. (of meat) full of sinews; especially impossible to chew


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I intend to discuss just that in sinewy masculine prose.

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  • The style of its wines—sometimes described as sinewy and linear, with aromas of raspberry or earthy notes—taste like no other and, in terms of a comparison scale, they are a long way from Australia's Barossa Shiraz.

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  • It was what might be termed a sinewy, knotty strength, of the kind we ascribe to lean and wiry men, but which, in him, because of his heavy build, partook more of the enlarged gorilla order.

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  • Soror is best known for her electrifying and primordial forests, "ancient trees," and bodacious flowers, but she also makes avatar adornments such as sinewy and curvilinear antlers, and brightly colored jewelry.

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  • Books that length struggle to find a publisher these days, so this kind of sinewy masterpiece is a dying art-form.

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  • Again, the unabridged dictionary gives "sinewy" as its first definition of "nervous."

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  • The muted red, gray and off-white mottled surface of the former brings to mind the texture of sinewy muscles; the monochromatic black installs a simple elegance on the latter.

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  • At 6-foot-8 inches, the sinewy Mr. Banks looks more like who he is, a basketball player with potential to play for an NBA team.

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  • A more urgent feel is quickly apparent when the opener's church-music solemnity is followed by a snare-drum tattoo and the pianist's rolls and swerves on the sinewy Playing.

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  • Writers marveled over Strawberry's sinewy grace and Dwight Gooden's 98-mph heater, yet those within the game knew that the Kid—a 6-foot-2, 205-pound statue of a man—was as gifted as anyone.

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