[strawng-ahrm, strong-]
See more synonyms for strong-arm on
verb (used with object)
  1. to use violent methods upon; assault.
  2. to rob by force.
  3. to coerce by threats or intimidation; bully: They strong-armed me into voting for the plan.

Origin of strong-arm

An Americanism dating back to 1820–30 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for strong-arm

intimidate, coerce, terrorize, browbeat, assault, force, violence

Examples from the Web for strong-arm

Contemporary Examples of strong-arm

Historical Examples of strong-arm

  • Mutineers, convicts, strong-arm men, thieves—or just simply pirates.

    The Wreck of the Titan

    Morgan Robertson

  • You try any strong-arm stuff on me and I'll scream for help!

  • For them, the strict letter of the law, backed up by a strong-arm squad, is the only controlling influence that they recognize.

    Our Vanishing Wild Life

    William T. Hornaday

  • Mebbe you spent it like a gent fer booze, mebbe you was foolish and went to some strong-arm shack and got rolled.

  • The rest is likely to entail a considerable amount of strong-arm work, and I'd rather not have you around.

    On Secret Service

    William Nelson Taft

British Dictionary definitions for strong-arm


  1. (modifier) relating to or involving physical force or violencestrong-arm tactics
  1. (tr) to show violence towards
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-arm

"using physical force," 1897, from noun phrase (c.1600), from strong (adj.) + arm (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper