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

While University of California campuses generally do a good job of protecting against admissions fraud, there are holes in the system that should be strengthened, auditors told the UC regents at a meeting in San Francisco. Nanette Asimov,, "Audit finds weaknesses in UC admissions process, echoing national scandal," 17 July 2019 The culture here is created and strengthened by the activities and ceremonies the executives put on for it's employees. Fortune Editors, Fortune, "The 60 Best Companies to Work for in New York," 16 July 2019 Budget hawks within the administration saw their hand strengthened by the report. NBC News, "White House yanks drug 'rebate' plan to ease costs for some," 12 July 2019 Now another episode has strengthened the impression that something is rotten in the heart of the government. The Economist, "Britain humbled after Donald Trump pushes out its ambassador," 11 July 2019 The series has strengthened that group of up-and-coming actors and actresses with a strong, adult supporting characters such as Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), police chief Tom Hopper (David Harbour), Bob Newby (Sean Astin) and more. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Spoiler-free fan reactions to the first episode of 'Stranger Things' Season 3," 5 July 2019 The notice requirement had been strengthened by the Obama administration, but Congress reversed the change in 2015. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "How a Top Chicken Company Cut Off Black Farmers, One by One," 26 June 2019 If anything, getting sober has strengthened her personal brand. Molly Mchugh, Vox, "Sobriety is having a moment. Here come the influencers.," 18 June 2019 But others, including national security adviser John Bolton, see the sale as necessary for strengthening Washington’s alliance with Taiwan and countering Chinese aggression. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump Administration Is Split Over Arms Sale to Taiwan," 17 June 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

21 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

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


to complain fretfully

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