The usage of the verb muscle in this sentence from an online article sounds strange to me. According the several dictionaries I have consulted, muscle as a verb means to force your way into a place or situation, whereas in this sentence it apparently means to be equipped with muscle. I can only understand it as a similar usage to four-legged. Is my understanding correct? Is it a common usage at all?

Diogenes, the contrarian beggar-philosopher, is seated before the big storage barrel that he lived in. The figure, wrapped in a swirl of billowing cloak, is powerfully muscled.

  • "Powerfully muscled" is an adjective phrase here, serving as subjective predicative complement of "be", with "the figure" as predicand. – BillJ Oct 18 '18 at 18:54


A horse is hoofed.

Goats are horned.

The stool was three-legged.

He is said to be rather thin-skinned.

The vaulted ceiling was ribbed.

The saw was snaggle-toothed.

Cerberus is three-headed.

Most spiders are eight-eyed.

The sloth is three-toed.

Lady Macbeth was hard-hearted.

Some dogs are long-haired.

Cowards are said to be lily-livered and yellow-bellied.

The predicate using the past participle adjectivally in this way is often paraphrased as "equipped with {said feature}".

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