Definition of strengthen in English:


Line breaks: strength¦en
Pronunciation: /ˈstrɛŋθ(ə)n
, -ŋkθ(ə)n/


Make or become stronger: [with object]: he advises an application of fluoride to strengthen the teeth [no object]: the wind won’t strengthen until after dark
More example sentences
  • It spreads and strengthens and multiplies until it smothers anything trying to stifle it.
  • Nicotine is the substance that reinforces and strengthens the desire to smoke.
  • It strengthens muscles and increases endurance, which is very important during labour.
make strong/stronger, build up, give strength to, make healthy, nourishreinforce, make stronger, buttress, brace, shore up, underpin
rare underprop
toughen, temper, annealbecome strong/stronger, gain strength, intensify, pick up, heightenfortify, bolster, make stronger, give strength to, give a boost to, boost, reinforce, harden, stiffen, toughen, steel, cement; increase, add to, fuel, add fuel to; renew, vitalize, give new energy to, buoy up, heartenstep up, increase, heighten, escalate, scale up
informal up, crank up, beef up
reinforce, make more forceful, lend more weight to; support, back up, bolster, confirm, bear out, substantiate, corroborate, authenticate; consolidate


strengthen someone's hand (or hands)

Enable or encourage a person to act more vigorously or effectively: the military aid will only strengthen the hand of the army
More example sentences
  • In the short run the coup had the effect of strengthening his hand.
  • That strengthens Pakistan's hand in its dealings with India.
  • The float also strengthens its hand and will bring capital into the business that will be used to reduce debt.



More example sentences
  • Mr Proudfoot will use poultices to remove encrusted dust and grime before treating the stone with chemical strengtheners to prevent cracking and erosion.
  • Calcium and vitamin D are good general bone strengtheners.
  • Dips target your lower pectorals, triceps, and shoulders - they are an ideal upper-body strengthener.

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Word of the day hypnopompic
Pronunciation: ˌhɪpnə(ʊ)ˈpɒmpɪk
relating to the state immediately preceding waking up