Definition of strong in English:

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Pronunciation: /strôNG/

adjective (stronger /ˈstrôNGɡər/, strongest /ˈstrôNGɡist/)

1Having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks: she cut through the water with her strong arms
More example sentences
  • Polar bears have a heavy stout body with strong muscular legs and well-developed neck muscles.
  • Get these out of the way while you're fresh and strong enough to use heavy weight.
  • The man facing them was taller than both by a few inches, and had strong, brawny arms.
powerful, muscular, brawny, powerfully built, strapping, sturdy, burly, heavily built, meaty, robust, athletic, tough, rugged, lusty, strong as an ox/horse
informal beefy, hunky, husky
dated stalwart
1.1 [attributive] Able to perform a specified action well and powerfully: he was not a strong swimmer
More example sentences
  • Thresher sharks can grow up to 20 ft and are strong swimmers who can completely vault out of water.
  • The spokesman explained that, if caught in a rip tide, strong swimmers should swim for shore at a 45 angle to the current.
  • Myra's grief was tinged with guilt that she, the strong swimmer who could have saved him, should have been there with him that day.
1.2Exerting great force: a strong current
More example sentences
  • He slowly backed out of the stream before the rush became too strong to resist.
  • We've got a pretty strong south wind.
  • Although there was a very strong wind we managed a swim in the Atlantic.
forceful, powerful, vigorous, fierce, intense
1.3(Of an argument or case) likely to succeed because of sound reasoning or convincing evidence: there is a strong argument for decentralization
More example sentences
  • Does that argument reveal a strong case for electoral reform in Canada?
  • The evidence suggests that a strong case can be made for a planned strategy using militia.
  • If the case is as strong as it sounds, then it may settle on favorable terms to the white plaintiffs.
compelling, cogent, forceful, powerful, potent, weighty, convincing, sound, valid, well founded, persuasive, influential
1.4Possessing skills and qualities that create a likelihood of success: the competition was too strong
More example sentences
  • Fear is a powerful motivator, and it takes strong ethics to resist the temptation to abuse it.
  • He said attitudinal change among the people is a strong weapon to defeat the cult of violence.
  • I resisted the strong temptation to tell him to go jump off a cliff, and kept quiet.
1.5Powerfully affecting the mind, senses, or emotions: his imagery made a strong impression on the critics
More example sentences
  • Her crunch has the ability to sense strong emotion and she could track me here.
  • In the minds of Chinese, this history inspires a strong sense of indignation.
  • Her strong sense of duty called to mind her grandfather George V and Queen Victoria.
intense, forceful, passionate, ardent, fervent, fervid, deep-seated
literary perfervid
1.6Used after a number to indicate the size of a group: a hostile crowd several thousand strong
2Able to withstand great force or pressure: cotton is strong, hard-wearing, and easy to handle
More example sentences
  • By 1216 the castle was sufficiently strong to withstand a siege by forces opposed to King John.
  • Basically any pumpkin that is strong enough to withstand sharp carving tools can be used for making designs.
  • You are entitled to goods which are not faulty and are strong enough to withstand normal use for a reasonable period of time.
secure, well built, indestructible, well fortified, well protected, impregnable, solid
durable, hardwearing, heavy-duty, industrial-strength, tough, sturdy, well made, long-lasting
2.1(Of a person’s constitution) not easily affected by disease or hardship.
Example sentences
  • Hmm, you've got to have a pretty strong constitution to whack down two uncooked eggs as Mr Hogg suggests.
  • And, frankly that would have any man with a strong constitution running for The Other Bus.
  • To explore the hole you needed a very long ladder and a strong constitution: it stank and was crawling with rats.
2.2Not easily disturbed, upset, or affected: driving on these highways requires strong nerves
More example sentences
  • The British male, once known for his strong emotional reserve, is turning into what some might call a cry baby.
2.3(Of a person’s character) showing determination, self-control, and good judgment: only a strong will enabled him to survive
More example sentences
  • Despite being paralysed from the neck down after a car accident, Clive was a strong and independent character, she said.
  • A man possessed of a strong independent spirit, he lived on his own in Derreens until his early nineties.
  • The new Bollywood stars are role models for them, strong, independent and bold.
forceful, determined, spirited, self-assertive, tough, tenacious, indomitable, formidable, redoubtable, strong-minded
informal gutsy, gutty, feisty
2.4(Of a market) having steadily high or rising prices.
Example sentences
  • It is prudent to be cautious, especially in a strong market where prices are high.
  • Analysis of historical data shows that strong market runs are followed by periods where indexes mark time.
  • Certainly a strong recovery and a rising stock market will increase tax revenues.
2.5Firmly held or established: a strong and trusting relationship
More example sentences
  • I look forward to establishing a strong working relationship with you and to continue representing your company.
  • They have strong beliefs, but strong beliefs firmly anchored in the real and the achievable.
  • This Institute has already established a strong track record in the research arena.
keen, eager, passionate, fervent
keen, eager, enthusiastic, dedicated, staunch, loyal, steadfast
3(Of light) very intense.
Example sentences
  • Bright lights, especially flashing lights, and strong smells, can also bring on an attack.
  • Sometimes we had to break down doors, and that was hard for my guys who are going from strong sunlight into interiors that could be hostile.
  • Throughout the dream, I am overwhelmed by a strong smell of dampness.
intense, deep, rich, bright, brilliant, vivid
bright, brilliant, dazzling, glaring
3.1(Of something seen or heard) not soft or muted; clear or prominent: she should wear strong colors
More example sentences
  • The male with the wheat colored hair and strong hawk like feature came forward, behind Mint, surprising her.
  • This collection as usual, featured lots of strong colors and a variety of shapes.
  • She heard Vasic's voice, soft yet strong enough to cut through the chatter.
loud, powerful, forceful, resonant, sonorous, rich, deep, booming
3.2(Of food or its flavor) distinctive and pungent: strong cheese
More example sentences
  • The chicken tasted very fresh and the sauce was delicious with a strong mustard flavour.
  • It proved fresh and filling with a strong tomato flavour and far too much pasta for a mere mortal to consume in one session.
  • It had a dark orange sauce with a strong coconut flavour that was really quite enticing.
highly flavored, flavorful, piquant, tangy, spicy
3.3(Of a solution or drink) containing a large proportion of a particular substance; concentrated: a cup of strong coffee
More example sentences
  • To drink strong liquor is also useful since nights get rather cold on the grasslands.
  • The jury heard how Hart had drunk strong coffee repeatedly as he drove, had the driver's window wound fully down and the car radio on.
  • Also on display was his lager and strong ale, so we gave it a quality control test, to make sure that they still tasted good.
concentrated, undiluted, potent
alcoholic, intoxicating, hard, stiff
formal spirituous
3.4(Of language or actions) forceful and extreme, especially excessively or unacceptably so: the government was urged to take strong measures against the perpetrators of violence
More example sentences
  • Apart from the sexually explicit scenes, the language is very strong.
  • Their language is so strong, we've got to redefine, we've gotta take back words.
  • The language is strong beyond maximum Trebor strength yet never jars; the performances even stronger.
firm, forceful, drastic, extreme
3.5 Chemistry (Of an acid or base) fully ionized into cations and anions in solution; having (respectively) a very low or a very high pH.
Example sentences
  • Addition of a strong base to a solution of a strong acid is just the reverse process.
  • This process is complicated by the fact that nitric acid acts as a strong oxidizing agent as well as an acid.
  • They require either a strong oxidizing agent to react with an acid or they undergo no reaction at all.
4 Grammar Denoting a class of verbs in Germanic languages that form the past tense and past participle by a change of vowel within the stem rather than by addition of a suffix (e.g., swim, swam, swum) ; contrasted with weak.
Example sentences
  • It is very concrete, and consists of strong nouns and a strong verb, with no modifiers.
5 Physics Relating to or denoting the strongest of the known kinds of force between particles, which acts between nucleons and other hadrons when closer than about 10−13 cm (so binding protons in a nucleus despite the repulsion due to their charge), and which conserves strangeness, parity, and isospin.
Example sentences
  • Protons and neutrons are held together in a nucleus of an atom by the strong force.
  • His special theory of relativity does not work around strong gravitational fields.
  • In a strong electric field, free electrons can be accelerated onto its inner surface.



come on strong

1Behave aggressively or assertively, especially in making sexual advances to someone.
Example sentences
  • No matter - a guy too gentle at heart to convincingly come on strong is welcome in this era of musical command sexuality, and he's certainly no prude.
  • So she drives me to the beach, two minutes from where I'm staying, and starts coming on strong.
2Improve one’s position considerably: he came on strong toward the end of the round
More example sentences
  • ‘He is coming on strong and improves season on season,’ the Celtic manager said of the Bulgarian midfielder.
  • SuperTarget is coming on strong, considering its two stores hold 1.6 percent of the market, adding a 0.75 percentage point over the year.
  • Price came on strong toward the end of last season.

going strong

informal Continuing to be healthy, vigorous, or successful: the program is still going strong after twelve episodes
More example sentences
  • The radio station turned out to be very successful and is still going strong.
  • Spirit photography may have faded away, but spiritualism itself is going strong.
  • The Champions are still going strong after all these years, and continue to be a very entertaining outfit.

strong on

Good at: he is strong on comedy
More example sentences
  • Lord of the Rings and Moulin Rouge are both strong on spectacle, and as such they're very unusual ‘Best Picture’ candidates.
  • But when a comic book is strong on content, this becomes less important.
  • It's strong on atmosphere, with its blue-grey waterscapes and grimy clinches in cramped cabins, and best of all, it doesn't try to do too much.
3.1Possessing large quantities of: our pizza wasn’t strong on pepperoni
More example sentences
  • ‘New Labour is very strong on explaining politics to people,’ he said.
  • The first real surprise, though, is the sheer scale of the menu, which is exceptionally strong on seafood.
  • Daily Ireland is cleanly executed, very strong on sport - there is even a page on disabled sport - and has a useful business page.

one's strong point

Something at which one excels: arithmetic had never been my strong point
More example sentences
  • However, reliability is nor your strong point.
  • But you're go-getting ways prevail, and you take charge of what's important because prioritizing is your strong point.
  • Sociology and statistics don't seem to be your strong point, Mr Newton.
strength, strong suit, forte, specialty



Example sentences
  • My ideal political scenario would be Labour c.2002 and a strongish Alliance Party.
  • So far back was the tee on a day when the hole was played into a strongish breeze, that many of the field were unable even to reach the fairway.
  • On the other hand, Damase's Quatre Facettes on the final track are generally of a strongish character.


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German streng, also to string.

  • string from Old English:

    The Germanic root of the Old English word string is related to strong, and in early use it could refer to a rope or cord of any thickness. If you have many strings to your bow you have a wide range of resources, just as an archer ought to have spare strings. A different kind of string lies behind the expression have someone on a string, meaning ‘to have someone under your control or influence’. The idea behind this 16th-century phrase is of a puppeteer manipulating a puppet by its strings. An opportunity or offer with no strings attached has no special conditions or restrictions that apply. This is a relatively recent expression, first used in the 1950s, though it is based on an earlier US use of string meaning ‘a limitation or condition’.

Words that rhyme with strong

along, belong, bong, chaise longue, Geelong, gong, Guangdong, Haiphong, Heilong, Hong Kong, Jong, King Kong, long, mah-jong, Mao Zedong, Mekong, nong, pong, prolong, sarong, Shillong, song, souchong, thong, throng, tong, Vietcong, wrong

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: strong

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