Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: mus'el


A primary tissue, consisting predominantly of highly specialized contractile cells, which may be classified as skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, or smooth muscle; microscopically, the latter is lacking in transverse striations characteristic of the other two types; one of the contractile organs of the body by which movements of the various organs and parts are effected; typical muscle is a mass of musculus fibers (venter or belly), attached at each extremity, by means of a tendon, to a bone or other structure; the more proximal or more fixed attachment is called the origin (q.v.), the more distal or more movable attachment is the insertion (q.v.); the narrowing part of the belly that is attached to the tendon of origin is called the caput or head.

Synonym(s): musculusTA

[L. musculus]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.