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[strengk-thuh n, streng-, stren-] /ˈstrɛŋk θən, ˈstrɛŋ-, ˈstrɛn-/
verb (used with object)
to make stronger; give strength to.
Phonetics. to change (a speech sound) to an articulation requiring more effort, as from fricative to stop or nongeminate to geminate.
verb (used without object)
to gain strength; grow stronger.
Origin of strengthen
1250-1300; Middle English strengthnen. See strength, -en1
Related forms
strengthener, noun
strengtheningly, adverb
overstrengthen, verb
prestrengthen, verb (used with object)
restrengthen, verb
unstrengthened, adjective
unstrengthening, adjective
1. buttress, reinforce, fortify, support. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for strengthen
  • Financial stress can strengthen relationships, if it is dealt with.
  • Introduces, facilitates, and manages improvements and modifications to strengthen program and align with best practices.
  • To strengthen intra-college, community, and of district-wide staff relations.
  • Several emerging economies will reintroduce or strengthen controls on capital inflows.
  • The networks monitor their signals closely and strengthen them as necessary, to maintain a good signal for customers.
  • The mature brain can grow new neural connections and strengthen weak ones, if exercised.
  • Instead, it should be seen as a way to strengthen the economy.
  • If the government hoped to strengthen the peso or improve financial transparency, it has accomplished the opposite.
  • Echinacea is often used in herbal medicine because it is thought to strengthen the immune system.
  • To strengthen a wall, and perhaps a corner as well, add ladder wire every other course and under the top course.
British Dictionary definitions for strengthen


to make or become stronger
Derived Forms
strengthener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for strengthen

c.1300, from strength + -en (1). Related: Strengthened; strengthening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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