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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 strengthens
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He knows it, and it strengthens him; it gives him confidence.

  • It is a fine thing to quote this as a testimony that strengthens our faith in humanity.

    Policing the Plains R.G. MacBeth
  • The kind of thing that strengthens one's trust in Providence.'

    New Grub Street George Gissing
  • The perception of the beautiful grows and strengthens in me.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • It supplies the labourer with an alternative which strengthens his hands in his battle for wages with employers.

British Dictionary definitions for strengthens


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 strengthens



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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