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[strawng-ahrm, strong-] /ˈstrɔŋˌɑrm, ˈstrɒŋ-/
using, involving, or threatening the use of physical force or violence to gain an objective:
strong-arm methods.
verb (used with object)
to use violent methods upon; assault.
to rob by force.
to coerce by threats or intimidation; bully:
They strong-armed me into voting for the plan.
Origin of strong-arm
1820-30, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for strong-arm
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Where coffee mills are used in the stores, they are of the strong-arm family and of an ancient heritage.

    All About Coffee William H. Ukers
  • Mutineers, convicts, strong-arm men, thieves—or just simply pirates.

    The Wreck of the Titan Morgan Robertson
  • She and her family had once dwelt in a nice house covered with ivy, and her husband was a wood-cutter, like strong-arm.

    My First Picture Book Joseph Martin Kronheim
  • You try any strong-arm stuff on me and I'll scream for help!

  • Meanwhile, in Syria, France has thus far succeeded in maintaining relative order by strong-arm methods.

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
British Dictionary definitions for strong-arm


(modifier) relating to or involving physical force or violence: strong-arm tactics
(transitive) to show violence towards
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 strong-arm

"using physical force," 1897, from noun phrase (c.1600), from strong (adj.) + arm (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for strong-arm



An area or route favored by prostitutes for solicitation: Ms Lopez, a 38-year-old streetwalker, said she had been chased by packs of youngsters who descended at night on the stroll, where prostitutes ply their trade in the industrial park (1990s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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