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[strengk-thuh n, streng-, stren-] /ˈstrɛŋk θən, ˈstrɛŋ-, ˈstrɛn-/
verb (used with object)
to make stronger; give strength to.
Phonetics. to change (a speech sound) to an articulation requiring more effort, as from fricative to stop or nongeminate to geminate.
verb (used without object)
to gain strength; grow stronger.
Origin of strengthen
First recorded in 1250-1300, strengthen is from the Middle English word strengthnen. See strength, -en1
Related forms
strengthener, noun
strengtheningly, adverb
overstrengthen, verb
prestrengthen, verb (used with object)
restrengthen, verb
unstrengthened, adjective
unstrengthening, adjective
1. buttress, reinforce, fortify, support. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for strengthens
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is the hope that strengthens and sustains him in his effort.

    The Meaning of Evolution Samuel Christian Schmucker
  • It is a fine thing to quote this as a testimony that strengthens our faith in humanity.

    Policing the Plains R.G. MacBeth
  • The perception of the beautiful grows and strengthens in me.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • It not only strengthens the muscles but the nature of a man.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • He that wrestles  with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill.

    How to Succeed Orison Swett Marden
British Dictionary definitions for strengthens


to make or become stronger
Derived Forms
strengthener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for strengthens



c.1300, from strength + -en (1). Related: Strengthened; strengthening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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