• synonyms


[strengk-thuhn, streng-, stren-]
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


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

Related Words


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.

  • 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.

  • He that wrestles  with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill.

    How to Succeed

    Orison Swett Marden

British Dictionary definitions for strengthens


  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 strengthens



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper