strong force


: a fundamental physical force that acts on hadrons and is responsible for the binding together of protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus and for processes of particle creation in high-energy collisions and that is the strongest known fundamental physical force but acts only over distances comparable to those between nucleons in an atomic nucleus

called also strong interaction, strong nuclear force

compare electromagnetism sense 2a, gravity sense 3a(2), weak force

Examples of strong force in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The remaining two are more obscure: the strong force binds protons and neutrons together within atomic nuclei, whereas the weak force helps atoms and subatomic particles to fall apart via a form of radioactive decay. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, 19 Aug. 2023 Gluons, the particles of the strong force, connect with two up quarks and one down quark to create a proton. Popular Mechanics, 31 Mar. 2023 In addition, birds also represent a strong force for good in the couple’s Islamic heritage. Megan Johnson,, 14 July 2023 The traditional axion arises from the Peccei-Quinn extension to the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which describes another of the four fundamental forces, the strong force. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Scientific American, 1 Apr. 2022 The Strong Nuclear Force Atomic nucleons—protons and neutrons—are held together by the strong force. WIRED, 10 Aug. 2023 Weinberg’s work helped physicists understand how the strong nuclear force emerges from the strong force. Katie McCormick, Quanta Magazine, 12 June 2023 Asked why the rebels were allowed to get as close as about 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) from Moscow without facing any serious resistance, National Guard chief Viktor Zolotov said authorities tried to assemble a strong force capable of stopping the onslaught. Yuras Karmanau, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 June 2023 Strings also appear in the way the strong force acts among quarks, which are the elementary particles that make up a proton. Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, 18 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'strong force.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of strong force was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near strong force

Cite this Entry

“Strong force.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

strong force

: the force between the particles of an atomic nucleus that acts to hold the nucleus together and is the strongest known force

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