strong·​man | \ ˈstrȯŋ-ˌman How to pronounce strongman (audio) \

Definition of strongman

: one who leads or controls by force of will and character or by military methods

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Examples of strongman in a Sentence

a Latin-American strongman who basically treated his nation's coffers as his personal bank account

Recent Examples on the Web

The half-mortal strongman must become a hero to rejoin the gods on Mount Olympus. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 The two laugh and shake hands after the Icelandic strongman sets him back on his feet. Ashley Boucher,, "Game of Thrones' The Mountain Actor Lifts Ed Sheeran Over His Head: 'He Asked for It'," 13 Aug. 2019 But his critics view him as an aspiring strongman, and his offensive appears to have at least temporarily united western Libya’s fractious militias in opposition to a return to one-man rule. Samy Magdy,, "UN says death toll from Libya fighting passes 1,000," 9 July 2019 The power vacuum was quickly filled by former Libyan strongmen, ambitious young militia leaders and a Star Wars bar of extremist groups including ISIS. Kimberly Dozier, Time, "President Trump Boasts About What He's Done for the World. But These 6 Hotspots Are Still Simmering," 4 July 2019 Uganda has an authoritarian government, presided over by an ageing and increasingly testy strongman. L.t. | Kampala, The Economist, "The writers breathing fresh life into Ugandan literature," 23 Aug. 2019 His jovial nature, ease with the masses and opposition to strongman Alberto Fujimori helped him clinch the presidency in 2001. Washington Post, "Lawyer calls ex-Peruvian president’s US detention ‘inhumane’," 23 Aug. 2019 Last November, there was a strongman competition at SMU. Bruce Tomaso, Dallas News, "Grit and grace: SMU's Hal Recinos left street life to become poet and professor," 19 Aug. 2019 To analyze the economic outcome of a strongman’s rule, the researches looked at per capita GDP. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "150 years of data proves it: Strongmen are bad for the economy," 19 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'strongman.' 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 strongman

1859, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for strongman

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for strongman

The first known use of strongman was in 1859

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English Language Learners Definition of strongman

: a politician or leader who uses violence or threats
: a man who performs in a circus and who is very strong

More from Merriam-Webster on strongman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strongman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strongman

Britannica English: Translation of strongman for Arabic Speakers

Comments on strongman

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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