• synonyms


[strengk-thuhn, streng-, stren-]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make stronger; give strength to.
  2. Phonetics. to change (a speech sound) to an articulation requiring more effort, as from fricative to stop or nongeminate to geminate.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to gain strength; grow stronger.
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Origin of strengthen

First recorded in 1250–1300, strengthen is from the Middle English word strengthnen. See strength, -en1
Related formsstrength·en·er, nounstrength·en·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·strength·en, verbpre·strength·en, verb (used with object)re·strength·en, verbun·strength·ened, adjectiveun·strength·en·ing, adjective

Synonyms for strengthen

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for strengthening

bolster, restore, extend, invigorate, establish, support, enlarge, increase, reinforce, sustain, heighten, enhance, toughen, intensify, consolidate, uphold, tone, buttress, rejuvenate, ascend

Examples from the Web for strengthening

Contemporary Examples of strengthening

Historical Examples of strengthening

British Dictionary definitions for strengthening


  1. to make or become stronger
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Derived Formsstrengthener, 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

Word Origin and History for strengthening



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper