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

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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

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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

Dyer mentioned the city’s initiatives aimed at strengthening and diversifying its economic ecosystem and described Méndez González and Raíces as true examples of business owners who are expanding locally before showing a video of the new location. Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio,, "Puerto Rican restaurant El Cafetal receives Orlando’s recognition," 1 July 2019 Doing moves to strengthen them can help counteract some of the tension indoor cycling class can cause. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Are Those Push-Ups in My Indoor Cycling Class Actually Doing Anything?," 30 June 2019 The new bill, which Andrew Cuomo, the governor, is expected to sign into law, strengthens them. The Economist, "Can American states slow global warming on their own?," 29 June 2019 The journey from Karnak to the temple in Luxor restored the power of Amun-Re and his family, strengthening them and the land of Egypt as well. National Geographic, "Egypt’s pharaohs welcomed summer with this fabulous festival," 25 June 2019 Their relationship began in Clemson, strengthened at Vanderbilt and has only grown over the years, and it has been sustained in the year-round group chat that was particularly upbeat on Saturday night. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tim Corbin: Without Michigan's Erik Bakich, there isn't Vanderbilt baseball," 23 June 2019 Amro once said that nonviolence strengthens civil society. Batya Ungar-sargon, The New York Review of Books, "A Palestinian in Israeli Military Court: Issa Amro, the Judge, & Me," 17 June 2019 Pure Barre Cincinnati-Westside – SPCA Cincinnati Striving to strengthen the human-animal bond and improve the welfare of animals. Candice Terrell/share,, "Pure Barre’s record-setting ‘Barre on the Bridge’ is back," 7 June 2019 Wine bottles are typically delicate objects to begin with, and the passage of time did nothing to strengthen them. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Shipwrecked Wine from the 17th Century Can Be Yours," 29 May 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.

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First Known Use of strengthen

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for strengthen

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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.

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Comments on strengthen

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characterized by aphorism

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