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  • (file)


From strength +‎ -en.


strengthen (third-person singular simple present strengthens, present participle strengthening, simple past and past participle strengthened)

  1. (transitive) To make strong or stronger; to add strength to; to increase the strength of; to fortify; to reinforce.
    to strengthen a limb, a bridge, an army
    to strengthen an obligation
    to strengthen authority
    • Shakespeare
      Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest, [] / With powerful policy strengthen themselves.
    • 1851, Anonymous, Arthur Hamilton, and His Dog
      A little hardship, and a little struggling with the rougher elements of life, will perchance but strengthen and increase his courage, and prepare him for the conflicts and struggles of after years.
  2. (transitive) To animate; to give moral strength to; to encourage; to fix in resolution; to hearten.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy iii. 28
      Charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him.
  3. (transitive) To augment; to improve; to intensify.
  4. (intransitive) To grow strong or stronger.



Derived terms[edit]