strength·​en | \ ˈstreŋ(k)-thən How to pronounce strengthen (audio) , ˈstren(t)-\
strengthened; strengthening\ ˈstreŋ(k)th-​niŋ How to pronounce strengthening (audio) , ˈstren(t)th-​ ; ˈstreŋ(k)-​thə-​ , ˈstren(t)-​ \

Definition of strengthen

transitive verb

: to make stronger

intransitive verb

: to become stronger

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from strengthen

strengthener \ ˈstreŋ(k)th-​nər How to pronounce strengthener (audio) , ˈstren(t)th-​ ; ˈstreŋ(k)-​thə-​ , ˈstren(t)-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for strengthen


beef (up), fortify, harden, toughen


debilitate, enervate, enfeeble, weaken

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of strengthen in a Sentence

These exercises will strengthen your stomach muscles. He takes herbs to strengthen his immune system. The development of new electronic products has strengthened the company's position as the leader in digital technology. Holidays often serve to strengthen bonds between family members. Their financial situation strengthened her determination to find a new career. The team has been strengthened by the addition of several new players. The winds are expected to strengthen. The economy is slowly strengthening. The Canadian dollar is strengthening against the U.S. dollar. The trade restrictions will strengthen the pound.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Subsequent administrations expanded this system, appreciating that the United States could strengthen its perch by enabling the progress of former antagonists and longstanding friends alike. Ali Wyne, The New Republic, "Is America Choosing Decline?," 21 June 2018 Her method activates and strengthens small muscles, and delivers undeniable results. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "9 New York Fitness Studios That Models Swear By," 15 Feb. 2019 The tropical storm has strengthened to a Category 2 Intensity and is predicted to increase to a Category 3 or more. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore 'Banned' From One Florida County Ahead of Hurricane Michael," 9 Oct. 2018 As the macro economy continues to strengthen, that might mean fewer people going to ... platforms like Uber and TaskRabbit. Carolyn Said,, "Why the robot apocalypse won’t kill all gig economy jobs," 16 June 2018 Both men and women can (and should!) strengthen and tone their bodies. Blake Bakkila,, "See How This Woman Clapped Back at People Who Said Her Muscles Make Her Look ‘Manly’," 14 June 2018 For Lorena Giménez, 39, a pediatric nurse, the debate highlighted the need to strengthen health policies across the country. Daniel Politi And Ralph Ellis, CNN, "Argentina's Congress debating whether to liberalize abortion laws," 13 June 2018 As Brexit turmoil continues to affect the country, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s trip comes at a time when international ties need to be maintained and strengthened. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are About to Go on Another International Adventure," 8 Feb. 2019 Soon after that article ran, the internet backbone was expanded and strengthened. Popular Mechanics, "The Death of the Internet," 7 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strengthen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of strengthen

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about strengthen

Share strengthen

Statistics for strengthen

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strengthen

The first known use of strengthen was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for strengthen



English Language Learners Definition of strengthen

: to make (someone or something) stronger, more forceful, more effective, etc.
: to become stronger, more forceful, more effective, etc.
of money : to increase in value when compared to money from other countries


strength·​en | \ ˈstreŋ-thən How to pronounce strengthen (audio) \
strengthened; strengthening

Kids Definition of strengthen

: to make, grow, or become stronger or more powerful Exercises will strengthen your muscles.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on strengthen

What made you want to look up strengthen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!