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From Middle English strengthe, from Old English strengþu (strength), from Proto-West Germanic *strangiþu (strongness; strength), equivalent to strong +‎ -th. Cognate with Dutch strengte (strength), German Low German Strengde, Strengte (harshness; rigidity; strictness; severity).



strength (countable and uncountable, plural strengths)

  1. The quality or degree of being strong.
    It requires great strength to lift heavy objects.
    Antonym: weakness
  2. The intensity of a force or power; potency.
    He had the strength of ten men.
  3. The strongest part of something; that on which confidence or reliance is based.
  4. A positive attribute.
    We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.
    Antonym: weakness
  5. (obsolete) An armed force, a body of troops.
  6. (obsolete) A strong place; a stronghold.


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strength (third-person singular simple present strengths, present participle strengthing, simple past and past participle strengthed)

  1. (obsolete) To strengthen (all senses). [12th–17th c.]
    • 1526, [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamẽt [] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], OCLC 762018299, Colossians j:[11], folio cclviiii, verso:
      ſtrengthed with all myght / thꝛowe hys gloꝛious power / vnto all pacience / and longe ſufferynge with ioyfulnes
    • 1529, John Frith, A piſtle to the Chriſten reader [] [2]:
      Then ſhalt thow perceave what it meaneth that the power of this wretched monſtre / muſt be ſtrengthed / by anothers power and not by his awne.
    • 1550, Edward Halle, “King Henry the viij.”, in The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illuſtre Famelies of Lancaſtre and Yoꝛke[3], page 1271:
      In witnes wherof we haue cauſed this pꝛeſent wꝛiting to be ſtrengthed with the ſeal of our facultie []
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:strengthen