[strawng, strong]
adjective, strong·er [strawng-ger, strong-] /ˈstrɔŋ gər, ˈstrɒŋ-/, strong·est [strawng-gist, strong-] /ˈstrɔŋ gɪst, ˈstrɒŋ-/.
  1. having, showing, or able to exert great bodily or muscular power; physically vigorous or robust: a strong boy.
  2. accompanied or delivered by great physical, mechanical, etc., power or force: a strong handshake; With one strong blow the machine stamped out a fender.
  3. mentally powerful or vigorous: He may be old, but his mind is still strong.
  4. especially able, competent, or powerful in a specific field or respect: She's very strong in mathematics. He's weak at bat, but he's a strong fielder.
  5. of great moral power, firmness, or courage: strong under temptation.
  6. powerful in influence, authority, resources, or means of prevailing or succeeding: a strong nation.
  7. aggressive; willful: a strong personality.
  8. of great force, effectiveness, potency, or cogency; compelling: strong reasons; strong arguments.
  9. clear and firm; loud: He has a strong voice.
  10. solid or stable; healthy; thriving: The banker predicted a strong economy.
  11. well-supplied or rich in something specific: a strong hand in trumps.
  12. having powerful means to resist attack, assault, or aggression: a strong fortress; a strong defense.
  13. able to resist strain, force, wear, etc.: strong walls; strong cloth.
  14. decisively unyielding; firm or uncompromising: She has strong views about the United Nations. He has a strong sense of duty.
  15. fervent; zealous; thoroughgoing: He's a strong Democrat.
  16. strenuous or energetic; vigorous: strong efforts.
  17. moving or acting with force or vigor: strong winds.
  18. distinct or marked; vivid, as impressions, resemblance or contrast: He bears a strong resemblance to his grandfather.
  19. intense, as light or color.
  20. having a large proportion of the effective or essential properties or ingredients; concentrated: strong tea.
  21. (of a beverage or food) containing much alcohol: strong drink; The fruitcake was too strong.
  22. having a high degree of flavor or odor: strong cheese; strong perfume.
  23. having an unpleasant or offensive flavor or odor, especially in the process of decay: strong butter.
  24. of a designated number: Marines 20,000 strong.
  25. Commerce. characterized by steady or advancing prices: The market resumed its strong pace after yesterday's setback.
  26. Grammar.
    1. (of Germanic verbs) having vowel change in the root in inflected forms, as the English verbs sing, sang, sung; ride, rode, ridden.
    2. (of Germanic nouns and adjectives) inflected with endings that are generally distinctive of case, number, and gender, as German alter Mann “old man.”
    3. belonging to the morphophonemically less regular of two inflectional subtypes.
  27. (of a word or syllable) stressed.
  28. Optics. having great magnifying or refractive power: a strong microscope.
  1. strongly.
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for strongish

Historical Examples of strongish

  • And there is a rope in the donkey-cart—a strongish one, I think.

    The Heiress of Wyvern Court

    Emilie Searchfield

  • She was protected, however, by the guns of some strongish batteries.

    Marmaduke Merry

    William H. G. Kingston

  • I was a strongish, rough young chap, and thought about nothing but games.

  • Then Peter said that this was all very well, but could he carry in his arms a strongish man who was unwilling to be so carried?

  • But, my dear fellow, when the Duke sends a message—it really comes to that—it's a strongish thing to say you won't do it.

    A Change of Air

    Anthony Hope

British Dictionary definitions for strongish


adjective stronger (ˈstrɒŋɡə) or strongest (ˈstrɒŋɡɪst)
  1. involving or possessing physical or mental strength
  2. solid or robust in construction; not easily broken or injured
  3. having a resolute will or morally firm and incorruptible character
  4. intense in quality; not faint or feeblea strong voice; a strong smell
  5. easily defensible; incontestable or formidable
  6. 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
  7. having an unpleasantly powerful taste or smell
  8. having an extreme or drastic effectstrong discipline
  9. emphatic or immoderatestrong language
  10. convincing, effective, or cogent
  11. (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
  12. grammar
    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)
  13. (of a wind, current, etc) moving fast
  14. (of a syllable) accented or stressed
  15. (of an industry, market, currency, securities, etc) firm in price or characterized by firm or increasing prices
  16. (of certain acids and bases) producing high concentrations of hydrogen or hydroxide ions in aqueous solution
  17. Irish prosperous; well-to-do (esp in the phrase a strong farmer)
  18. have a strong stomach not to be prone to nausea
  1. informal in a strong way; effectivelygoing strong
  2. 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 strongish



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 strongish


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.