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[strawng-man, strong-] /ˈstrɔŋˌmæn, ˈstrɒŋ-/
noun, plural strongmen.
a person who performs remarkable feats of strength, as in a circus.
a political leader who controls by force; dictator.
the most powerful or influential person in an organization or business, by reason of skill in the formulation and execution of plans, work, etc.
Also, strong man.
Origin of strongman
1855-60; strong + man1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for strongman
  • Nor is a strongman or tightly knit group of leaders likely to be able to overcome them.
  • Some would wish to install a new strongman and wait for him to create the conditions for a secular democracy.
  • Even under democracy, they tend to view a strongman at the centre as a prerequisite for stability.
  • At first the former policeman, who likes to cultivate a strongman image, oversaw swift progress.
  • While many of these failed and led to a strongman-type autocracy, others succeeded.
  • Sad coming for a community that has enough strongman violence and bullying.
  • But you also ultimately decided that freedom cannot mean replacing the strong hand of a colonizer with a strongman of your own.
British Dictionary definitions for strongman


noun (pl) -men
a performer, esp one in a circus, who performs feats of strength
any person regarded as a source of power, capability, initiative, etc
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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