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

Definition of strengthen 

transitive verb

: to make stronger

intransitive verb

: to become stronger

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Other Words from strengthen

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for strengthen


beef (up), fortify, harden, toughen


debilitate, enervate, enfeeble, weaken

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His hand has been strengthened by the late addition to the Buenos Aires negotiating team of Mr. Navarro, who takes an even dimmer view of Beijing. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "U.S., China Explore Deal as Leaders Meet at G-20 Summit," 29 Nov. 2018 In the short term, May’s hand might be strengthened by the departure of two problematic individuals who think her Brexit plans don’t go far enough. David Meyer, Fortune, "Xiaomi Surge, Trade War and Tesla, Uber and Lime: CEO Daily for July 10, 2018," 10 July 2018 Negative and positive habits are strengthened by routine. Paul C. Brunson, USA TODAY, "Paul C. Brunson: These 3 books are the best ever written on self-control and willpower," 5 July 2018 If Seehofer does ultimately step down, Merkel’s position would only be strengthened, said Nils Diederich, a political-science professor at the Free University Berlin. James Mcauley, Washington Post, "Germany’s Angela Merkel may have won fight over migration, but her coalition is in doubt," 2 July 2018 The ordinance was strengthened in 2014 and extended to a year-round ban. Max Cohen,, "'It's time to get smoking off the beach.' Proposed N.J. ban awaits approval from Gov. Murphy," 7 June 2018 For now, Ribas and his team will continue to monitor the wobbles of Barnard’s star to further strengthen their claim — one that now aligns with numerous works of science fiction. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A cold ‘super-Earth’ may live around a nearby star," 14 Nov. 2018 As Hurricane Michael strengthens near Florida's Gulf Coast, meteorologist Jim Cantore is busy reporting on the tropical storm. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore 'Banned' From One Florida County Ahead of Hurricane Michael," 9 Oct. 2018 The exercise works almost every muscle in your body, helping strengthen your chest, arms, and core at the same time. Jenna Wolfe, Woman's Day, "5 Ways to Fit Exercise In Despite Having a Busy Schedule," 1 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of strengthen

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for strengthen

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

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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 \
strengthened; strengthening

Kids Definition of strengthen

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

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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).


living or existing for a long time

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