[strawng, strong]

adjective, strong·er [strawng-ger, strong-] /ˈstrɔŋ gər, ˈstrɒŋ-/, strong·est [strawng-gist, strong-] /ˈstrɔŋ gɪst, ˈstrɒŋ-/.




    come on strong, Slang. to behave in an aggressive, ardent, or flamboyant manner: When you're interviewed for the job, don't come on too strong.

Origin of strong

before 900; (adj.) Middle English strang, strong, Old English; cognate with Middle Dutch stranc, Old Norse strangr; (adv.) Middle English strange, stronge, Old English; cognate with Old High German strango; akin to string
Related formsstrong·ish, adjectivestrong·ly, adverbstrong·ness, nouno·ver·strong, adjectiveo·ver·strong·ly, adverbo·ver·strong·ness, nounself-strong, adjectivesu·per·strong, adjective

Synonyms for strong

Antonyms for strong

1. weak. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strong

Contemporary Examples of strong

Historical Examples of strong

  • He seemed to make a strong effort to check some sudden impulse.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The spirit of the strong man was moved, and he trembled like a leaf shaken by the wind.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Of this, there is an impression on my mind too strong to admit of doubt.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • He took his uncle up in his strong arms, and moved toward the stairs.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • And never had she been so girlishly appealing to all that was strong in him as a man.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for strong


adjective stronger (ˈstrɒŋɡə) or strongest (ˈstrɒŋɡɪst)

involving or possessing physical or mental strength
solid or robust in construction; not easily broken or injured
having a resolute will or morally firm and incorruptible character
intense in quality; not faint or feeblea strong voice; a strong smell
easily defensible; incontestable or formidable
concentrated; not weak or diluted
  1. (postpositive)containing or having a specified numbera navy 40 000 strong
  2. (in combination)a 40 000-strong navy
having an unpleasantly powerful taste or smell
having an extreme or drastic effectstrong discipline
emphatic or immoderatestrong language
convincing, effective, or cogent
(of a colour) having a high degree of saturation or purity; being less saturated than a vivid colour but more so than a moderate colour; produced by a concentrated quantity of colouring agent
  1. denoting or belonging to a class of verbs, in certain languages including the Germanic languages, whose conjugation shows vowel gradation, as sing, sang, sung
  2. belonging to any part-of-speech class, in any of various languages, whose inflections follow the less regular of two possible patternsCompare weak (def. 10)
(of a wind, current, etc) moving fast
(of a syllable) accented or stressed
(of an industry, market, currency, securities, etc) firm in price or characterized by firm or increasing prices
(of certain acids and bases) producing high concentrations of hydrogen or hydroxide ions in aqueous solution
Irish prosperous; well-to-do (esp in the phrase a strong farmer)
have a strong stomach not to be prone to nausea


informal in a strong way; effectivelygoing strong
come on strong to make a forceful or exaggerated impression
Derived Formsstrongish, adjectivestrongly, adverbstrongness, noun

Word Origin for strong

Old English strang; related to Old Norse strangr, Middle High German strange, Lettish strans courageous
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 strong

Old English strang "physically powerful, powerful in effect, forceful, severe," from Proto-Germanic *strangaz (cf. Old Norse strangr "strong," Dutch streng "strict, rigorous," Old High German strang "strong, bold, hard," German streng "strict, rigorous"). Originally compared strenger, strengest (cf. old/elder/eldest). Grammatical sense, of noun and verb inflections, is first attested 1841, translating German stark, used in a grammatical sense by J. Grimm (the terms strong and weak better fit German inflections). Strong suit (1865) is from card-playing. Strong man "man of great strength" (especially one who displays it professionally) is recorded from 1690s; meaning "dominating man in a political organization" is from 1859.


Old English strange (alongside strongly), from the same source as strong (adj.). Going strong (1898) is from racing. To come on strong was originally come it strong (1812).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with strong


In addition to the idioms beginning with strong

  • strong point
  • strong silent type
  • strong suit

also see:

  • come on strong
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.