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

Emerging-market currencies extended their declines, as a strengthening dollar sparked worries over the financial outlook for countries such as Argentina and Turkey. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Dollar’s Strength Hits Emerging-Market Currencies," 25 Apr. 2019 Once the model's hair was fully strengthened and prepped, Ghaisarzadeh gave her strands a break and waited a week before going in with the color. Rebecca Norris, Allure, ""Iced Mocha" Balayage Is the Bronde Hair Color for Summer," 24 Apr. 2019 For its inclusion in makeup, CBD has been shown to help clear up acne, reduce inflammation, and could potentially strengthen your hair and nails. Teen Vogue, "A Shopping Guide to CBD Beauty Products," 20 Apr. 2019 During that time, brush on one coat of a strengthening nail treatment every day to prevent breakage. Marci Robin, Good Housekeeping, "How to Easily Remove Acrylic Nails at Home," 8 Apr. 2019 The bullying she was subjected too, however, only strengthened her resolve to wearing the hijab. Vogue, "How Rawdah Mohamed Is Challenging Modest Style Conventions and Fashion’s Inclusivity Problem," 21 Mar. 2019 Developing correspondent banking relationships across the globe will depend on strengthening the country’s defenses against corruption. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "With New Laws and Some Help, Iraq Turned Around Anti-Money-Laundering Problems," 28 Feb. 2019 But addressing Olson's concerns would go a long way toward strengthening Langer's case. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Wolf’s jaw” star cluster may have inspired parts of Ragnarök myth," 16 Nov. 2018 During the first few weeks of September, focus on strengthening your network. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Scorpio Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 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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Statistics for strengthen

Last Updated

12 May 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

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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